A chef plates my supper—berries, fish,
spring greens—with the precision of a surgeon.
The meal might be my last, or the dish
might save my life. Her julienne
carrots stitch old wounds closed. Her poached pear
is a salve for skin I didn’t know was burned.
I lick the fork tines clean, declared
healed at the hands of one robed in white
(almost doctor, almost angel). Who is prepared
for such sustenance? Stars spooned like sugar light
my way home. Fatted, supernova-full, I want to make
the night last. Pleading to get it just right—
right amount of salt, right kneading—I bake
a loaf, a life, dough rising from yeast.
Who is prepared? Dusted in flour, I break
bread under the star-clotted sky, pitching pieces
into the field where a raccoon feasts.
Andrea O’Brien’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications, including The Hopkins Review, Connecticut Review, Nimrod International Journal, and The New York Quarterly. In 2007, the Kentucky Foundation for Women awarded Andrea an Artist Enrichment grant to begin writing her second collection of poems. She lives in Denver with her husband and works as a writer and editor.