Consequences of Desire • Sandra Becker

No more gluten, dairy. No sugar, caffeine,
salt. No meat, fish or fowl

For years I fought to restrain my appetites.
Nothing like the threat of pain

to tame the multitudes of flavors,
a certain texture on the tongue: smooth

or chunky, crisp or soggy, the body cries out for.
Even on Zen retreat after glimpsing

a bowl of fresh blueberries, no doubt
grown there on the farm, due justice I thought,

for all I have withstood all week long. I could barely
keep my mind on my breath, my mantra:

blueberries, breath, blueberries, breath,
blueberries, blueberries, breath, blueberries,

blueberries, blueberries, until surprise—
at dusk my coveted blueberries turn

out to be mere black beans…the consequence of desire.
Back to the breath. Breath, breath, breath.

Then back home the lure of just one
chocolate-covered raisin, ginger, almond

and the flood gates are opened: Hershey bars,
Nestles melted over a flame, oh god, strawberry

truffles, chocolate syrup over vanilla ice cream,
god save me, chocolate cheese cake,

fudge chocolate fondue with banana,
chocolate caramels. No turning back now:

Chocolate chip cookies, mousse. It’s too late, I’m lost,
Milky Way, triple fudge brownies, Devil’s food.


 Sandra Becker's book At the Well of Flowers was published by Virtual Artists Collective in Winter of 2011. Her chapbook titled Foreign Bodies was published Spring 2004 by Carolina Wren Press. She has had poems published in Bucks County Writer, Comstock Review, Concrete Wolf, Flesh & Bone, Mad Poets Review, Main Street Rag, Raving Dove, Poetic Matrix Press/PM Books; Rexdale Publishing, Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts, Out of Line, Wild River Review.