FRIDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: HANNAH GAMBLE


YOUR INVITATION TO A MODEST BREAKFAST
by 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.”


Poem first appeared in Ecotone and appears here with the permission of the poet.

Hannah Gamble is the recipient of writing and teaching fellowships from Rice University, Inprint/ the University of Houston, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Her poems and interviews appear in Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, Ecotone, Mid-American Review, Cite: The Architecture and Design Review of Houston, and elsewhere.

Want to read more by and about Hannah Gamble?
Ink Node
Gulf Coast
Barnstorm

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One Response to FRIDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: HANNAH GAMBLE

  1. Wow, I really like the absurd/sexual/almost surreal vibe of this piece. That we are talking about sex and breakfast, that intentions are thinly veiled. I almost feel like I’m at a carnival reading this piece. But like a carnival in the 20’s or 30’s. J’adore. Great find Lezlie.

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