Little Works of Art

Ok, if one MUST be stuck in traffic at 9am on a weekday, at least there is the perq of getting to hear Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac on NPR. Many a time I’ve intended to remember to look up a poem or a quote I’ve heard on there, but today’s poem was just too much of a gem to forget about:

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, by Sue Ellen Thompson

Sweet biscuit of my life,
I’ve been thinking of your smile
and how I’d steal a little bite
of it if you were here; of the delights

I’ve known in the alleyway between
the whitewashed storefronts of your teeth;
of how I’ve pressed one smithereen
after another of mille-feuille, mousseline

of late-night conversation upon your lips,
forever poised at the brink of kissdom,
their slightest sigh enough to lift
a tableskirt. Perfectest pumpkin

in the patch, your heft on mine
is what I crave, your brows so fine
I could not carve them with a steak knife.
You have the acorn eyes

of the football season, the ass
of an autumn afternoon, of boys en masse
in soccer shorts. Yours is the vast
contained candescence of a Titian under glass,

it is the gold leaf laid
by February sun, the lemonade’s
pale wash in August. Should you fade,
like sun on windowsills crocheted

with shadow, then suddenly gone dark,
your face will leave its watermark
upon this page, which is already part
of love’s confection, our little work of art.

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