Site Patron: Andrew Motion
Anne Stewart (Birthday)
Katherine Gallagher (Anytime)
The cheese had an exact savour
releasing the sharpness of goats
gorged on the sparse grass beyond the city’s gates.
You tore bread, poured spiced wine, offered olives
whose stones we spat into a bowl.
Ripe figs were brought,
bursting from their velvet purses
their many seeds catching at cracks in our teeth,
distorting chatter as our nails probed each cavity.
Then fish. Landed but an hour since and laid on a bare board,
scales rainbowed against the rough table.
Eat, you said, this is your feast.
And so we fell to. Sliced again and again
from the glistening side
yet restrained our appetite to allow, being a feast,
for the meat to come.
Though we’d not smelt the cooking of it
we felt the flesh melting in our mouths.
You waited, watched, offered torn bread.