I Did Not Want to Drink the Wine or Eat the Honey

I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.
Song of Solomon 5:1

Splinter is another name for distraction between us
when the woodstove’s gone cold.
We wait a year to feed the baby

honey, a few more to give her wine,
deem the green paint too green, that vines
might be stenciled against it, but in the dim

everything disappears. Mornings it seems
my to-dos congregate like lemmings
and all I’ve collected falls.

We build a shrine of newspapers,
to the gods of the cross-
word, to a life of brevity,

to How red should this wall be when we finally break
its façade. Absolutely naught
would have been better than to sink into sheet-

rock, spill over cliff, listen to laugh
of the swineherd. In this year of dying I slack
into bathrobe, tomorrow, fingerprints

on glass. I rub hard each day
to remove the day, look to the hillside
where are buried the torsos of trees,

dead of past fires. After the body
steeped in balsamic and finest virgin,
this water is the best I’ve tasted,

having given up so much of its blood
for honey.

RONDA BROATCH is the author of Shedding Our Skins (2008), and Some Other Eden (2005). She has received Pushcart nominations, an Artist Trust GAP Grant, and has been a finalist for the May Swenson Poetry Book Award. Ronda is co-editor for Crab Creek Review. In her spare time she photographs birds and poets in their natural habitats. Sushi brings her world in balance.