3p Home Page The Threepenny Review
Spring 2011


Image Map - Text Links at Page Bottom

When my hand is groping on the tool-room shelf for ex-
marital liquor to drink by myself,
it bumps something it knows by one bump
and rustle, one chocolate bar, with almonds, then the
muffled thunk of another—he would hide them,
then give me one when I was sad. When he left,
he did not think, as who would,
to go to the caches and empty them, to the
traps and spring them. I take the fascium
of bars to the compost, denude them of their peel
and chuck them in with the rumps and grinds,
the grounds and eden rinds,
and I carry the bowl outside, to the heap,
and trowel a pit in some eggshell crunch where the
potato sends its green shoots
of rage up, I tuck the cocoa
shards in—vanillin to vanillin,
very nut to very nut,
and remember how he hated it
when I tried to get him to talk to me,
tried with a certain steadiness—
nagged him to reveal himself—
maybe these desserts were not only gifts,
but bribes or stops, to close my mouth
an hour on sweetness.

—Sharon Olds

Sharon Olds lives in New York and New Hampshire and teaches at NYU. This poem will be a part of her next book, Stags Leap, Poems: 1997–2000.

Home PageCurrent IssuePast IssuesReading RoomGallery
BooksLinksAdvertisingSubmissionsSubscribeContact UsDonate

The Threepenny Review