Plain China

Still Life with a Jar of Honey, Left Open on the Kitchen Table

by Emily Bergmann · Wheaton College
"Tiny Bust", Jordan Sommer · Winthrop University

last night the clock struck three, a lonely bird chirped,

and I walked into the kitchen on padded feet.

slid onto the floor with the jar and a spoon from the sink.

I live off of your rations for sweetness here

and the jar has never been mine to take.

but part of you knew that if you fed me honey

I would spill like milk into your arms.

 

the cool linoleum calls, and the rest of your house is asleep.

weeks of episodes of clandestine honey-eating

and still we have not been caught with sticky fingers.

but left alone I licked it clean

rambling and mead-drunk in my own head, by my own hand.

there are other people in your house who use this jar

and who am I to empty it

when it is clearly marked with someone else’s name?

 

the strange room I occupy here, landlord, is simply mine to rent.

collapsed on the floor, silent and raving

I wonder if you will stir and creak down the stairs.

I wonder if it would please you to see me this way.

 

stung, foolish to forget that honey comes from bees.

 

apis mellifera, sucking dry the red clover

in a valley up north where it’s green.

it is selfish to empty this jar.

to hope that the way I think of you is the way you think of me.  

About the Author

Emily Bergmann · Wheaton College

Emily Bergmann graduated from Wheaton College, where she earned her degree in Film and New Media Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. Poetry has proved an intense hobby over her college years, as has classical singing. More of her writing can be found on her website. "Still Life with a Jar of Honey, Left Open on the Kitchen Table" first appeared in Rushlight.

About the Artist

Jordan Sommer · Winthrop University

 
Jordan Sommer is a senior undergraduate student at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina working toward a B.F.A. in General Studio with a concentration in printmaking and sculpture. "Tiny Bust" first appeared in Miscellany.