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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, February 17, 2017.
About this Poem 

“As I was losing my dearest friend the poet Max Ritvo to cancer, I was simultaneously trying to get pregnant. The longing both to keep Max close and to have a child made me more aware, grateful, and sometimes resentful of my body's ‘healthy’ but involuntary functions—my physical and emotional metabolism. In ‘Control Feast’ my dying friend converts a moment of emptiness into the blessed fullness of wanting a baby and love for the profound friendship we would soon lose.”
—Elizabeth Metzger

Control Feast

Either you’ve died, or you arrive
beside me at a funeral

patchily reaching out
from your zero gravity chair

to grab the relative achievement
of my stomach.

There is no cute life in me
but I have eaten a great meal

alone successfully, greater
than I have ever kept down before,

full of iron and clotted cream.
I cannot feel everything about you

anymore the way I used to—
the stomach overfills itself so fast

it eats the hunger and the mouth.
I grow enamored of you as an egg

you shake in my direction
then love you evenly, without belief.

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Metzger. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 17, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Metzger. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 17, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Elizabeth Metzger

Elizabeth Metzger

Elizabeth Metzger is the author of The Spirit Papers (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017). 

by this poet

poem
In one or two lives 
I opened the door with the prize
only to find the prize was not worth the life.
 
I wanted the door.
 
Brave mahogany door, you be my fortune.
Teach me to understand the jungle cry 
in your grain, the suffering
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