They say, if your life
is too bitter then you crave sugar.
And I do remember the acerbity on my tongue
when my father told his diagnose: bladder cancer.
It was like someone filled my mouth with pile of old, rusty
coins and I couldn’t breathe, just in awe, with crucified
jaw I stared at the telephone.
My father soon got better,
yet my body had its own trouble digesting truth:
leaking gut poured all the bitterness of previous months’ uncertainty.
I began to grow sugars, tiny special sugars, cleverly hidden in the pores
of the synovial lakes and joint meanders.
These tiny special sugars, grow and mature
with each season, unharvested,
developing tear membranes,
disguised purple knots in my throat.
Involuntarily nerve-pulsating dreams remind me
how clumsy beginner I was.
Now, with years my skills improved:
I’ve learned with one hand to
keep my stomach intact,
with other to lift my neck
just enough to catch early autumn grapes
in my father’s vineyard,
to erase the bitterness from my head.
Maja S. Todorovic
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