Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ernest Hilbert: The Fast

Enjoy our penultimate Ernest Hilbert poem from All of You on the Good Earth.

The Fast

Nine days

Eating never seemed such a miracle,
Rest never so lonely or bathed with dream.
Never before, never such air and sky.
Eating—the word is luscious, rich, lyrical.
Snowy nerves are blurred, crave soft drops of cream.
The cayenne dust smolders and corrodes like lye,
And the lemon pressings I swallow wreak
Havoc below. I laze, lax, without doubt.
I have learned that a fast makes the world clear—
Sentenced to stay still, with no urge to speak,
Brought on by myself, not tyrant or drought.
Everests of stubbornness put me here.
Rituals of glut and wealth melt to air,
Through scoured-white days, to a thousand-year stare.

Originally appeared in The London Magazine.

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