Allison Vanouse

Lines to Your Artichoke Basket


Châlets that loop the fractured swarm
of frozen lakes where kept desire
delays them still: the lodge is warm
neat, homey, exclusive, grips of wire
suspend an architectural breakfast nook
where our two heroes profit from a view
and sip their maté over righteous jook.
No clutter in a renovated palace.

Wassily's conifers are fine!
almost ascetic; artful
like succulent terrariums in the past.
The glass is clean, consommé, cold,
but whip some strong accent of philosophy
into a vacant mousse
and the vegetable understands that it is in season;
waits on the appetite, meets you, stoops
like a virgin to the thongs of her fawn-colored sandal.

How we have struggled
to pare the excess to a brilliant core
luxury lovely as work

a copper bell

to bed, to bed, to bed.



ALLISON VANOUSE was the Associate Editor of The Battersea Review