The poem said: Now we must all eat beautiful women.
The poem-cutter cut out that line
and took it home. He read it over and over
then sauteed the words in butter
and ate them.
He ate them and now he is stuffed
with the words he has learned by heart.
He has learned a new hunger
that is an old hunger
and he is covered with shame.
The mother with the book of poems
found that the line was gone,
carefully sliced and taken away.
She knew it meant danger.
She knew it meant danger
so she locked her beautiful daughter
in the closet telling her:
There is a man out there in the moonlight
who is covered with shame.
She locked her daughter in the dark room
and every night now she lays a small poem
on the porch. Eat this, she says,
There are no beautiful women
in this house.
Poems by Kathleen Lynch:
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets