Jacqueline Saphra’s ‘The Dark Art’


The Dark Art
Jacqueline Saphra

I once knew a wife with rattling bones,
whose face was made of rice cakes
whose blood was made of consommé
whose skin was hard as eggshell.
There was no melting her.
Her child swallowed nothing
but greens and goat’s milk;
he was spindly and failed to thrive.
I once knew a wife, plump as a doughnut
with buttered hands and a floury lap
whose babies always wanted more.
Her sighs weighed heavy on the rolling pin,
her crusts were never tender,
there was fury in her kneading;
her loaves would take on air and multiply;
her children grew too fat.
I once knew a pitiless wife
who smelled of peach and salt
who warmed her skin like a caramel glaze.
She kept a secret book of recipes,
lured her husband with a calculated sauce,
then killed him slowly
with foie gras, double cream and hollandaise.
Visit Jacqueline’s website.
Order Jacqueline’s pamphlet, Rock’n’Roll Mamma (Flarestack Publishing, 2008).

8 thoughts on “Jacqueline Saphra’s ‘The Dark Art’

  1. Michelle Post author

    Doesn’t it remind you a little of the gingerbread house and the crafty witch in Hansel and Gretel? I love it too.

  2. Julie

    I LOVE this poem! The style reminds me of a Mother Goose nursery rhyme with the repetition of “I once knew a wife…” I agree with you about the Hansel and Gretel feel. Yes, the ending is fantastic. My favorite stanza is the second. Wonderful images and play on the language.

  3. Jo

    What a coincidence, I just bought her pamphlet from Flarestack — and it’s excellent, I wondered why she didn’t already have a collection or two under her belt.

  4. Lucy

    The last one certainly has the tastiest time of it! Wonderful poem, she looks nice too.

    You know something that strikes me browsing here, though it may be a shallow observation, is how beautiful most of the poetry book covers are. I don’t get to see them so well elsewhere.

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