Love Like Salt
A pearl sweats near poison.
A king holds a jewelled cup,
seated between the daughter who chose gold
and the one who would go bare for no man,
but the poison at the feast is subtle:
an empty chair and ancient guilt.
A servant brings the cook
to account for the tasteless meat.
The king almost sees,
but does not hesitate to blame.
The girl does not quail;
says, “Once you cast forth a child
because you thought she loved you less.”
He lowers his head, weeps.
She embraces him at last,
whispering his name,
she has made him
eat his words
and knowing nothing else
to rub in.
*first published on Enchanted Conversation and forthcoming in The Weight of Coming Home (Indigo Dreams, 2015)
Jennifer A. McGowan obtained her PhD from the University of Wales. Despite being certified as disabled at age 16, she has published poetry and prose in many magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Rialto and The Connecticut Review. Her chapbooks are available from Finishing Line Press, and her first collection is forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Publishing. Her website can be found at http://www.jenniferamcgowan.com.