Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free Verse

Sweet, Sour, Sweet

Oranges will always remind me of my father,
Sweet, fragrant,
Sporting an aloof shell
Seemingly protected yet when peeled
With a particularly sharp nail
Still able to squeeze out a trickle of juice
With a melancholy sigh.

His hands were always dirty,
Busy with building and dismantling,
Etched with thin calluses
Against the backdrop of sweltering sun.

I’d sit on the sink, legs
Dangling haphazardly
As he washed the grease from his hands,
Smelling like a sack of fat, ripe oranges,
A wafting scent of hard work and sweat.
But something else also, something more sinister,
As though the grainy soap was cut with metal.

This was how we showed our love for a long time:
Me sitting on the sink watching him wash his hands,
Him making sure the soap was always there.

I’m not sure when the soap stopped,
Can’t quite pinpoint a degradation of spirits
Or rotting oranges.
It was not a bold change,
But rather a silent leaving,
A seasonal change,
The cleft of a loss
Unfelt for years
Until another orange was finally peeled.

There is sweetness which lives in the bathroom,
A uniting of souls in awkward professions of love,
But also barren lands and wide eyes where
Sometimes we pulled my teeth and
Sometimes I simply sat in the dry tub,
Confounded by a loss of oranges.

We peeled the oranges from the tiny tree,
Miniscule, sour oranges instead of lemons for our tea;
We never drank sweet words but always bitter prose.

When the absence of oranges was finally felt,
Our way of loving changed.
Two things will always remind me of my father:
And that when I tell him “Kocham Ci
His stubborn response remains “I love you, too.”

Justine Bienkowski

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shakespearean Sonnet

I got bored in class and wrote another sexy food poem. I promise I'm not a necrophiliac. It's just turkey, guys, yeesh...


I long to slather skin with scented oil,
To rub my fingers in your every
Concealed groove. Your shuffled mortal coil
Awakes my hunger...I'll nibble your knee,
I will engage your breast with seasoned skill
And warm your goose pimples. You must begin
To trust in me: for you I'll only thrill
If you submit to wise caresses. Sin
You shouldn't fear: I come to burn your heart,
To fire your little limbs. I need to stuff
You full with all myself...We will not part;
I'll be your master always. My sweet: tough
Will be your foe tonight. But, since I brined,
It's true: I know you are forever mine.

Justine Bienkowski