Of Nectar

This entry is part 21 of 47 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2012


After my first child was born, my mothers came to the hospital with a pot of clam broth.
Drink, drink, they urged; to let down the milk: so the child will suck of your nectar.

I didn’t know what it would feel like for my waters to break— Toward dawn, I dreamt
salt-smells from the sea. The sheets were soaked. Not mild, light hidden in night’s nectar.

Sometimes, one craves fish and rice, green mangoes, fermented shrimp. Other times,
nothing except yogurt: only what’s bland, nothing wild. Until the tongue misses nectar.

To this day it isn’t known who wrote that poison pen letter. Familiar diction; details
that couldn’t have been known, dredged up to revile— Clearly, someone denied nectar.

Most days I prefer savory to sweet: laurel or bay leaf, pink peppercorns, zest of ginger;
blend of cardamom and anise, piquant over mild. But it depends on who offers the nectar.

I pressed my forehead to glass to feel its cool aloofness; then against the weave of your
coat, the warmer folds of your nape. Don’t say memory denies the thickening of nectar.

Half my life is over, or only just begun. I’ve wished so long for a home of my own:
honeysuckle vines in the shade, stone patio tile; hummingbirds come to drink nectar.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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