Breaking Fast

Karen Locascio

Karen Locascio

I  have  a  taste  for  the  tart,  for  blue  and  rasp.  Most  berries  are  not  true.  Get  on  your
hands  and  crush  them.   Sticky   fingers   and   print   my   skin   and  thumb   my   lip.   Peel
clementines   and   slide  their  math  between  my  teeth.   I   was   told   as   a   child   that  if
I   swallowed   a   fruit   seed   it   would   grow   in   my   stomach.    I  imagined  lemon  trees,
watermelon  vines,  my  insides  overrun with roots.  I  thought it was like the seed I was told
a  man  planted  in  a  woman  when  they  were  in  love.  Kiss  me  in  autumn,  pod and rind
and  wait  for  spring.   A  berry  is an orb, soft firmness around the iron core of seed. Will my
belly  grow  translucent  with  you,  a  globe  of  melted  snow?  Or will I collapse in on myself,
all  clacking  storm-stripped  limbs?  Feed  me  cherries,  pitted deceptions.  Feed  me  berries
laced  with  lies.  I   drop  to  my  knees,  rip up rose bush and bramble. Feed me straw and I’ll
set  fire  to  everything.


  1. “Breaking Fast,” is everything I want a prose-poem to be (and more)–it’s sensual and tactile, sumptuous and indulgent, mellow and tart–all at once in a joyful table set for the reader to feast. I was reminded of Karen Volkman’s poetry (herself a mistress of the prose poem) and treated to Karen’s own unique spins on language and heady imagery. The power of the poem’s penultimate line: “Feed me straw and I’ll/set fire to everything,” is one that I’ve re-read dozens of times now, and I have to say–with every reading, I like it more and more, and feel that fire rising as the poem build, line by line. A banquet of words, prepared especially for the reader to enjoy. Savor each morsel.

  2. Wow, Allie! Thank you so much for your beautiful comments on my poem. I’m not familiar with Volkman but I’ve put her on my reading list. I love learning about new-to-me poets and diving into their work.


  1. Top 10 Lit Mags to Send Your Very Best Poetry (and get happily rejected) | michaelalexanderchaney - […] prose poem you’ll want to read is “Breaking Fast” by  Karen […]

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