Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast

By Hannah Gamble Hannah Gamble

It’s too cold to smoke outside, but if you come over,
I’ll keep my hands to myself, or won’t I.
I would like to tell you about the wall eaten up
 
by the climbing plant—it was so beautiful.
Various things have been happening to me,
all of them sexual. The man on the bus
 
took off his pants so I could see him better.
Another man said, “Ignore him darlin’.
Just sit on my lap.” But I’m not one of those
 
who’s hungriest in the morning,
unlike the man at the bakery
who eats egg after egg after egg.
 
Listen. Come over: the cold has already eaten
the summer. I need another pair of ears:
from the kitchen I can’t tell if I’m hearing wind chimes
 
or some gray woman with failing arms
dropping a pan full of onions and potatoes.
                                    This morning I need four hands—
 
two to wash the greens, one to lift a teakettle,
one to pour the milk. This morning, one little mouth
will not do. We could play a game
 
where we crouch on the tiles, two yellow dogs
drinking coffee from bowls. We could play a game
where we let the breakfast burn.
 
Outside there’s a world where every love scene
begins with a man in a doorway;
he walks over to the woman and says “Open your mouth.”

Hannah Gamble, "Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast" from Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, published by Fence Books. Copyright © 2012 by Hannah Gamble.  Reprinted by permission of Hannah Gamble.

Source: Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast (Fence Books, 2012)

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Poet Hannah Gamble

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Life Choices, Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Relationships, Home Life

 Hannah  Gamble

Biography

Hannah Gamble is the author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast (2012), selected by Bernadette Mayer for the 2011 National Poetry Series. She has received fellowships from InPrint Inc, The Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the University of Houston, where she served as an editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. Gamble has been a guest on podcasts such as Radio Free Albion with Chicago poet Tony Trigilio . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Relationships, Home Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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