Solomon didn’t know what to doShould he cut the baby in half
length-wise or sidewise?Each mum have an arm and a leg
or arms to one, legs to another?Hearts can be broken in different waysThink of him,
coming to the bath,
having to fill it
with his own spitNot knowing what to do
until his work was done for himAnd then he was off the hook,
a very large hook of the kind
they hang sides of beef from
in a refrigerated roomAfterwards, alone in his library
see how he wraps the broken spines
each text will be called upon
to comfort another
Copyright © 2018 by Mary Ruefle
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Mary Ruefle is the author of My Private Property (Wave Books, 2016), Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2013), Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures (Wave Books, 2012), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, and Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Robert Creeley Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont.
In this issue: Hanif Abdurraqib, Kimberly Quiogue Andrews, Amanda Auerbach, Monica Berlin, Kristina Bicher, Baiba Bičole (translated by Bitite Vinklers), Sarah Blake, Helena Boberg (translated by Johannes Göransson), Collin Callahan, David Crouse, Adam Day, Kelly Jean Egan, Noah Eli Gordon, Declan Gould, Erina Harris, Chris Haven, Alec Hershman, Catherine Imbroglio, Kathleen E. Krause, Kimberly Kruge, Peter LaBerge, Michelle Lewis, Dong Li, Kurt Becket Pitzer, Kylan Rice, Emily Rosko, Mary Ruefle, sam sax, Mika Seifert, Katie Jean Shinkle, Brian Teare, G.C. Waldrep, Stu Watson, Paige Webb, Erin Wilson, Sarah Ann Winn, Felicia Zamora, and Martha Zweig.