Feb. 3, 2013
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It’s too cold to smoke outside, but if you come over,

I’ll keep my hands to myself, or won’t I.

I would like to tell you about the wall eaten up


by the climbing plant—it was so beautiful.

Various things have been happening to me,

all of them sexual. The man on the bus


took off his pants so I could see him better.

Another man said, “Ignore him darlin’.

Just sit on my lap.” But I’m not one of those


who’s hungriest in the morning,

unlike the man at the bakery

who eats egg after egg after egg.


Listen. Come over: the cold has already eaten

the summer. I need another pair of ears:

from the kitchen I can’t tell if I’m hearing wind chimes


or some gray woman with failing arms

dropping a pan full of onions and potatoes.

                                This morning I need four hands—


two to wash the greens, one to lift a teakettle,

one to pour the milk. This morning, one little mouth

will not do. We could play a game


where we crouch on the tiles, two yellow dogs

drinking coffee from bowls. We could play a game

where we let the breakfast burn.


Outside there’s a world where every love scene

begins with a man in a doorway;

he walks over to the woman and says “Open your mouth.”

Hannah Gamble is the Author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, which was selected by Bernadette Mayer for the 2011 National Poetry Series. She has taught English at several universities in the mid-west, including the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She will be reading in Milwaukee at the Art Bar on Sunday, February 10, at 1pm with Michael Bernstein and Mike Hauser. For more information on readings, links to poems and other things you can find her on twitter at @Hannah_Gamble


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