He never knew his unease
was so artisanal Every entrée

seems eldritch and he wouldn’t
be surprised if safey regulations

required the clutch of inherited
tomatoes and nameless grains

to be bounded by a drizzled
octagon of vegetable blood

He sorts the organs in his dish
by color and volatility Are we

supposed to take these home
in canopic jars or what

Miss Anaphora giggles
You haven’t eaten scale models

of the afterlife before If all else fails
we can bury our cats in this

turnip pyramid Nix is skeptical
I try not to consume anything

more complicated than
a combustion engine

Miss Anaphora hefts a fork
speckled with bitter saffron

This comes from the stigma
of the crocus Cleopatra

bathed in it and Austria fought
a war over 800 stolen pounds of it

Saffron adulterators were
imprisoned or immolated

Doesn’t that do anything
for you Nix smiles I’m sorry

You know I love all your
adjectival facts

but the waiter is mournfully
calling out the single solitary

pine nut on this here
He regards

the crenelated bottle cap
of goat cheese and sage

I can’t eat it I have an emotional
relationship with it now

Simeon Berry Somerville, MA (March 2014) #1Simeon Berry lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. He has been an Associate Editor for Ploughshares and received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Individual Artist Grant. His first book, Ampersand Revisited (Fence Books), won the 2013 National Poetry Series, and his second book, Monograph (University of Georgia Press), wonthe 2014 National Poetry Series.

These poems are from Nix, a book-length sequence I recently completed, which serves as the refracted biography of a doppelganger figure, a textual interloper drawn involuntarily into various genres and archetypes as he struggles with both narrative and gender instability. Other poems from the sequence can be found hereherehereherehere and here.

Comments are closed.