Tavye Neese

It Was the Year of Cold Soup

It was the time of thin doves.
We lured them with gruel,
brought them to mouth.

Bones thin as matches
we swallowed for small fires 
having no flint, kindle.

It was the year of blood-knuckle,
time of empty husk and wither.

We could not stumble fast enough
toward crumb or crust. We dreamt
of loaves never leavened,

fish-heads, eggs hidden
by dead mothers—pinks shells turned,
boiled yolks gone rotten.