Love, oh love, oh careless love

p
o
e
m
s

Fuck, I can’t stand when I

slice a grapefruit to an uneven

split. For this small fault, I’m cursing

myself even while I replay the scene:

my student comes red-rimmed

to me and starts to spill—

her work unfinished, her essay

(Bradbury’s images of innocence

and corruption) not started. She’d found

a lump. A surgeon would have to cut.

She was scared. She was sorry, her work

unfinished. I did not curse her small fault.

Forgave it. No matter that essay.

No curse for her, only for me—

the askew-cut grapefruit—while my son,

couchbound in mother’s arms, roasts

with third day of fever. Unable to walk.

Tottering more than usual on new legs.

And after long today, a third night

I will hold him, wailing him,

him destined to small faults—

the broken glass, the crayoned wall—

soothe him with song and hands

until he falls asleep. Until his body

is limp and small, unhearing

of song, unfeeling of hands.

Iain Haley Pollock is the author of a collection of poems, Spit Back a Boy, winner of the 2010 Cave Canem Prize. He teaches at Rye Country Day School and at the Solstice MFA Program of Pine Manor College.

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