Helen Wallace St. Petersburg (Gianna Russo)
To Imagine Hunger
any kind, of which we knew little,
lucky as we were in our childhood.
Hunger is... a wound, a lost child...
faint smell of a father’s cigar—no—
the red tip of it...sun
snaking through plains, jagged rocks,
or maybe just their scales, that brittle
lichen lacing up, flaking?
A pause in the angle
of a wrist becomes a white anthurium
tossed (in a gesture of grief?) there,
by the side of a road.
I remember the ache of that road.
I watched it for hours back then:
dust kicking up in certain light,
a tinge--of what was it—hunger?
Did it go by the name of desire?
That mad press of tires, that contact....
Originally published in Harvard Review