THE TASTE OF LIGHT & OUR DIGESTIVE TRACTS
I’m portable. My mind travels
gulls and valleys between people.
I’m at its heels, the grabbing of long white trains
and veils, using their hats for sleds.
Africa is one season without snow.
I’m there too, testing the droughts for true water
under skin cracks on distant dolphins.
They resemble, in their back fins,
the arc of my casual elbow.
The others I follow also house animals.
The white hair on this front-row man hides
a pink flamingo.
Moustache: a salt & pepper mole rat.
The red-haired woman has antlers for feeling.
So much to throw away and make space for
the other parts of us: the hole in my hope,
my tribunal relationships,
the incredible ways we eat baked goods.
It’s not possible to enjoy a bite
and set it free before the swallow.
The throat, conditioned, wants completion.
The stomach demands its light.
Sweet taste is an evolutionary attribute.
Go, ask the miracle fruit.
Tell your doctor who pales to kill
my parasites, speak of my inner family.
We have talked on all fours and succeeded
in mastering the secrets of following upright
without destroying our buried interests.
People are my friends, as are all animals.
In memory of this, I bake them into shapes and
a spoon-shaped cake to taste the world with.
Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is co-editing with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edited the anthology Bettering American Poetry 2015 and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.