through the hot blue afternoons. This morning
I wake dreaming them, waken to a swell
of greed for their taut bodies, those sweet
explosions between roof of mouth and tongue,
the weight of juice poised in my throat.
I creep outside in daybreak’s haze,
soles of my feet stealing dew from the lawn;
I’m thinking human, temporal, earthly.
A dove rises flapping and keening
from a nest a foot away, defending two pale eggs
on a bed of twigs. Nothing slows me, I pull
berry after berry from the vine, staining fingertips,
filling my mouth, fervid and wanton, certain
that even in paradise nothing could ever be enough.
— Patricia Traxler
Appeared in e: Emily Dickinson Award Anthology, Universities West Press
Author of three poetry collections including Forbidden Words (Missouri), Traxler has published her poetry widely, including in The Nation, Ms. Magazine, Ploughshares, Agni, LA Times Literary Supplement, Slate, The Boston Review, and Best American Poetry. Awards include two Bunting Poetry Fellowships from Radcliffe, Ploughshares’ Cohen Award, and a Pablo Neruda Award from Nimrod.