Ricardo Pau-Llosa
Give-Us-This-Day Man

Every morning breakfast became
the stage on which pills danced and sang,
assumed the role of hero, were gulped
into the audience of his flesh.  As they grew
in number, they fanned into colors and shapes,
textures and sizes.  Given the dailiness,
he learned to sniff them into an orchestra,
rolled them on his fingertips to script
a blind menu of their casings.  All of which,
he believed, would improve his fading
memory.  The short-term was going first
and hardest, and it wouldn’t be long
before the very map of his life 
sogged into a cereal’s milky spectacle,
the juice no longer cold, the coffee
rooming into dullness.  Staring out
into his garden, where hummingbirds
lapped the early flowers and stitched
the air with their mechanicals, as if
a great hand was moving them like a cursor
across the screen of a life that remembered
everything, it dawned on him
that his wife, if he had one, could bake him
a memory flan, melding into its lapping moon
the contents of these capsules, so that
he could at least remember, in the throng
of this warm moment, that this caramel host 
Petri-dish crown telescope-lens chalice nipple
was the globe, the cage, the very eye and lid
of the one taste that could deny 
what lived within it.

Found In Volume 42, No. 04
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Ricardo Pau-Llosa
About the Author

Ricardo Pau-Llosa has published six books of poetry, the last four with Carnegie Mellon U Press.  He is also a widely published art critic and curator.  More at www.pau-llosa.com.