Divorcing Plato



Each day, I strive to shuck the sickness you infected me with:


I eat the rotini with the homemade marinara and I drink the better bottle of Chianti.


When I see a lovely body I say, what a lovely body, without shame, I pray, and I look and look

because this is the gift and there is no better form.


I walk around the lake in the frank January sun and am astonished by the storm-shattered trunks

of trees jutting from the sooty snow, and I don’t say, how far you fall, broken tree, from the ideal tree

somewhere in the sky,


and I loose the dark horse and let him run through the mud if he wants. You were wrong; he is really a

fine horse; oh the pollen-dazzled fields he finds, the mouthfuls of wildflowers. The white horse now

trots beside him companionably. They no longer fight and struggle; they have become close

as kin.


I love the warm smooth body beside me in bed. The self that wants dark chocolate and the self that

loves the poem are the same self. When I love the poem I do not love only the thought behind and

through and above it, spanning over it like a great arching bridge,


but I love the syllables and how they walk and dance through the mouth, over the tongue, and how they

enter the ear like music, and how the limbs may tremble a little with the rhythm.


I am my writing hands, and my lips kissing the skin of my beloved, and my love is completed, not

soiled, by my hips and his hips together in the consuming and humid dark,


and this body is not a coffin.

Mary Ann Honaker is the author of It Will Happen Like This (YesNo Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in 2 Bridges, The Dudley Review, Euphony, Juked, Off the Coast, Van Gogh’s Ear, The Lake, and elsewhere. Mary Ann holds a BA in philosophy from West Virginia University, a master of theological studies degree from Harvard Divinity School, and an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. She currently lives in Beckley, West Virginia.