Honey, and Other Poems

by Lori Lamothe



Even a spoonful holds enough warmth

to keep you alive through another winter.


Outside, light bleaches landscape

and every living thing goes on sleeping


under snow’s newly washed blanket.

Since leaves fell red across fields,


your life has been hibernating, a bear

dark in its cave, dreaming of water


roaring down mountains, of summers

spent roaming Alaskas of imagination.


What kind of world you’ll actually

stumble into when you wake is unclear.


In the meantime, your mind pours amber

into the hollow that hunger carved


in solitude, fills January’s cup to the brim.




The stories it held

never amounted to anything—

the bright paint

bleached by wind and too strong a light,

the voices that rose and fell with its tides

on the other side of happening.


We pass it going and then coming back,

half expecting it to have already

stepped out of existence—

proving what we don’t want to believe,

its solidity a piece of driftwood

blown out to sea.


Even the doors of its silence are boarded up.

Surrounded by the future’s endless

plate-glass windows, it folds in upon itself

like an origami replica of failure

or the woman at the reunion

nobody claims to remember—


not no longer beautiful but never

beautiful and yet, somehow, gorgeous

in aloneness, in form stripped

of everything, even memory,


as the calm at the eye of a storm.




All happy families are alike.

                                    -Leo Tolstoy


You want to write a poem

about baking bread, geraniums

blooming in early light,

a row of terracotta pots

adrift on a lawn’s green sea.

Instead, you’ve got to work

with what you’ve got—

too many take-out orders

and too much time

wasted on the computer.

Not to mention all the surfaces

undusted, the anxieties unresolved,

the novels rotting unwritten

in your attic of broken resolutions.


Even so, the tint of the morning

radiates an irreproducible happiness.

Your teen-age daughter sleeps

on into noon and beyond,

her need for dreaming

elaborate and excessive.

Your dog destroys yet another

essential item, his appetite

for mayhem voracious

The fingerprint of your life

never static, a kaleidoscope

of sound and color

whirling fiery patterns

across the mind’s dark sky.



Lori Lamothe

Lori Lamothe's first poetry collection, Trace Elements, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She is also the author of several chapbooks, including Ouija in Suburbia, which is due out later this year from Dancing Girl Press. You can find more of her work here and on her blog.