Heather McHugh


Thous by the Thousands



Loving was gobbling—gobble up the baby
with his cheeks; gobble up the woman, with her eyes;
gobble up the novel, with its world; scoop
lovers up and coop them in...

Lips dabble with a gullet’s-worth of trouble,
sequences of consonant and liquefact, wherewith
a gob alone (one gob) could grow
to be a gobble's worth, and one small rub
a rubbled history, the hag a whole damned
marketplace and one
scribe’s nib... well, after all,

you get the point.  Get out the bib.  It's all
a honking gag, a loving cup...
The baby, Bob, an ornament. 


The words got longer
just to shrink the thing:  beloveds doubled over
with diminutives. 
The sadness vowed away
into a saddle.


What moves the page to find
the phases—waives the waver’s
single-mindedness—is not
the letter’s appetite.  It's

spirit, after all, inside
whose beaming of abode

no philes are phages...

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review