By Alfred Corn
Loaf after loaf, in several sizes,
and never does it not look fresh,
as though its insides weren’t moist
or warm crust not the kind that spices
a room with the plump aroma of toast.
Found on the table; among shadows
next to the kitchen phone; dispatched
FedEx (without return address, though).
Someone, possibly more than one
person, loves me. Well then, who?
Amazing that bread should be so weightless,
down-light when handled, as a me
dying to taste it takes a slice.
Which lasts just long enough to reach
my mouth, but then, at the first bite,
Nothing! Nothing but air, thin air ….
Oh. One more loaf of wonderbread,
only a pun for bread, seductive
visually, but you could starve.
Get rid of it, throw it in the river—
Beyond which, grain fields. Future food for the just
and the unjust, those who love, and do not love.
Alfred Corn, “Wonderbread” from Present (Washington: Counterpoint Press, 1997). Copyright © 1997 by Alfred Corn. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Source: Present (Counterpoint Press, 1997)
For many years Alfred Corn taught in the Graduate Writing Program at Columbia University and held visiting posts at UCLA, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and Yale. His book reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Nation, the New Republic, the Hudson Review, and Poetry London. He also writes art criticism for Art in America and ARTnews magazines. Corn lives in Rhode Island and spends part of every year in the UK.
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