by Keli Osborn

Until I gave up sharp cheeses

and crimson wine from the bottom

of a green bottle, I didn’t know

what I wanted.  When the doctor

took away biscuits, I freely smeared

soft butter on my calloused feet.


An allergist blacklisted durum,

and I built spaghetti birdcages

for all of my gluttonous friends.

When a healer asked me to bypass

almonds and sunflower seeds,

I buried granola beneath the roses.

How I miss the air of whipped cream,

sweet tang and drizzle of balsamic.


Packing forbidden scrambled eggs

around crystal and silver, I ship

longing and soup spoons to a future

in which the costliest shawls remain

those woven from the fine beard hairs

of wild ibex.  Silence hugging

my shoulders is more than absence

of sound, cravings other than want.



I think it was John Cage who muted

instruments for a four-minute piece:

strings and winds, black and white keys,

all stilled.  I might hear a world in quiet,

surrender desire to sated composition—

set a place at the table for this abundance.

Keli Osborn lives in Eugene, Oregon. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Verseweavers, Allegro, KYSO Flash, and Dona Nobis Pacem—an anthology from the Lane Literary Guild. Formerly a newspaper reporter, manager in local government and university instructor, Keli recently has explored the Italian language, belly dancing and comedy improv.