Steve Kronen

Poems featured on The Gladdest Thing

The World Before Them

Actually, it was sweet and heavy with juice
and we passed it back and forth, a river
of nectar running down her chin and mine
until we were full and our faces shone
and could not tell receiver from giver.
I loved its weight in my hand, bruised
just a little from having fallen
from those high, green limbs. And we took its seed
and planted more when we left that place
so we’d always be sure to have its taste
upon our tongues. That was her idea, freed
us from working about the future. And all in
all, we didn’t. We ate them to the core.
It’s as though we’d been provided for.

— Steve Kronen

end

That Your Hands Are Graceful and Kind

for Ellie

You left the overhead light on which burned
all night, till nearly morning, when Cedar
woke crying, perhaps hungry, and you turned
from your place next to me to feed her
if necessary, but mostly to let
her know that you were beside her and God
was in his heaven. Is it light that prods
us from our sleeping? Surely light begets
light and pulls us, as an infant is pulled
from the birth canal into waiting hands;
hands whose shapes are defined by that child’s shape
and in turn, define for that child, the world.
There’s little of this world I understand.
Only that your hands are graceful and kind
and lie like light against my chest while I sleep.

— Steve Kronen

end

Chemistry

Whatever synapse-leaping chemical
triggers response—finger from the hot stove
or the memory of a friend twenty years
dead—would, if poured from a beaker,
eat a hole through pig-iron. Quicker
than rust but slower than the sheer
beam of laser, it’s searing, chimerical,
thorough; in many ways resembles love.

— Steve Kronen

end

In the Kitchen

The windows grow small with frost and the moon
Is large above the house. On the baby’s hands
Are red socks, curled above his face.
Far away, a siren or a dog.
In your long hair is a trellis of flowers
Which makes everything in the kitchen brighter.
It defies all sensemaking, the weather so cold
And the south so far away. You try not to draw
Attention to yourself, but how can you help it?
Here, drink some more wine. We have warmed some wine
And though it’s good wine, we put an apple in it.
Here, setting the wine before me. But I don’t want more wine.
I want to ask about the flowers. He wakes up
And his red hands sink deep into your yellow hair.

— Steve Kronen

end
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