Jacob Heric


I prefer not to

American Bittersweet

The air will be full of soft enveloping salt and fat. Whole milk will work over hard flakes. Heat will emanate in rough rectangles out of the toaster. Invisible towers of condensation will obscure the window while I stand and wait. Out there, I will see bittersweet branches brought low by precarious piles of snow. Blue jays will bloat against the smoldering cold. Birds yesterday flew wildly against the choke of vines and berries. Birds today big and blue and still. Birds tomorrow torn apart by three black cats. Their transparent temperament tells the temperature. There is a frozen city for no man. Here is the heat of deceivers and the light of self-deception. I peanut butter toast.

Focus. Victual. Pay Peter’s pence. Bird eyes belie self. Ritual. Dishes. Know plain bush. There are hard squares and liquid discs in here. There are orange peels and iron things out there. Where true love hangs on a rope. Dangling in the blinding cold. Carried by sparrows that want to sing but hold themselves back. Sparrows silent with bitter endives in their beaks. Wind strums string between bird and love. I sing to blue clod bird unmoved by ceremony. I harvest the turbulent words that hang around still bird. I fill the cupboards. Pent in the larder, these words whisper to me at breakfast.