Carolyn Kizer: “Food of Love”



Food of Love

Eating is touch carried to the bitter end.
Samuel Butler II


I’m going to murder you with love;

I’m going to suffocate you with embraces;

I’m going to hug you, bone by bone,

Till you’re dead all over.

Then I will dine on your delectable marrow.

You will become my personal Sahara;

I’ll sun myself in you, then with one swallow

Drain your remaining brackish well.

With my female blade I’ll carve my name

In your most aspiring palm

Before I chop it down.

Then I’ll inhale your last oasis whole.

But in the total desert you become

You’ll see me stretch, horizon to horizon,

Opulent mirage!

Wisteria balconies dripping cyclamen.

Vistas ablaze with crystal, laced in gold.

So you will summon each dry grain of sand

And move toward me in undulating dunes

Till you arrive at sudden ultramarine:

A Mediterranean to stroke your dusty shores;

Obstinate verdure, creeping inland, fast renudes

Your barrens; succulents spring up everywhere,

Surprising life! And I will be that green.

When you are fed and watered, flourishing

With shoots entwining trellis, dome, and spire,

Till you are resurrected field in bloom,

I will devour you, my natural food,

My host, my final supper on the earth,

And you’ll begin to die again.


Carolyn Kizer at her house circa 1967.

Carolyn Kizer at her house circa 1967.


Poets W.S. Merwin and Carolyn Kizer, 1966.

Poets W.S. Merwin and Carolyn Kizer, 1966.

Carolyn Kizer’s Life in Pictures


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