Imitation

By JONATHAN FINK

The eating is like make-believe, a game
of imitation—sawdust pressed between
two hands becomes a pancake; soup pots steam
with buttons, leather. Call your mother’s name,
and she will search for food for you the same
as every other parent. Hallways teem
with children. Turning as if in a stream,
they rise together, speak together, claim
in unison that love will never save
them. Love alone, the river answers back,
the river from a dream, two dreams, two halves,
the mother/father, daughter/son, the track
that runs from mouth to stomach. Eat. Just eat,
your mother says, as if the word were fact.

 

Jonathan Fink is an associate professor and the director of creative writing at the University of West Florida. Dzanc Books recently published his poetry book, The Crossing, and he has also received the Editors’ Prize in Poetry from The Missouri Review; the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Nonfiction, Essay, from the Southwest Review; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and Emory University, among other institutions. 

[Purchase your copy of Issue 10 here.]

Imitation

Related Posts

Image of the book cover of The Morning Line, featuring a man wearing a hat.

September 2021 Poetry Feature: David Lehman’s The Morning Line

DAVID LEHMAN
You can pick horses on the basis of their names / and gloat when Justify wins racing’s Triple Crown / or when, in 1975, crowd favorite Ruffian, “queen / of the century,” goes undefeated until she breaks down / in a match race with Derby winner Foolish Pleasure.

Bogota

Translation: Poems by María Paz Guerrero

MARÍA PAZ GUERRERO
Time fills with holes / and puts the scarce body / into one of them // It covers its skeleton of wind / so the current / doesn’t rub against its prickly outside // The air would split into smithereens / if it were touched by the spines // It doesn’t seek to become cuts on the cheek