PAIRING

 

Welcome even in January, peach ice cream

slathers my tongue, when crimson

shocks the cone and the top of the scoop

 

with eerie iridescence,

and every lick and lap I take leaves behind

more blood, thanks to my lip surprisingly

 

split by days of dry air. Peach paired

with iron, vanilla with thorn.

Was this odd mix what Ezekiel tasted, too,

 

when God unrolled the scroll of lamentation,

which he told him to eat?

When he found those words so sweet?

 

As though the underbelly of woe actually bears

an amber glow. As though the smallest of joys

can pierce dark prophecy or hardened hearts,

 

injecting hope like a honey bee ceaselessly working

and in the face of any threat

(imagine it: the face is yours!),

 

giving up its life for the hive.

 

Julie L. Moore’s fourth collection of poetry Full Worm Moon was published in March by Cascade Books in its Poiema Poetry Series. She is also the author of Particular Scandals, Slipping Out of Bloom, and Election Day. A previous contributor to Valparaiso Poetry Review, Moore has had recent poetry appear in Image, New Ohio Review, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Verse Daily. Her work also has appeared in several anthologies, including Becoming: What Makes a Woman, published by University of Nebraska Gender Programs, and Every River On Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio, published by Ohio University Press. Moore is an Associate Professor of English and the Writing Center Director at Taylor University.

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