In the Same Brine

Ben Berman

An onion tastes nothing like a pig heart –
but soak them together in the same brine
and it’s jarring how you can’t tell them apart.

Beneath the banana peels were new-born
puppies – their bodies still warm, necks not yet stiff –
litter upon litter, waiting to be burned.

After you kill a goat, there’s this slight shift
that takes place – almost too raw to process –
the carcass drifting between meat and flesh.

March, and the hope that stemmed from seeing hostas
break through after months of lying dormant
was quickly stemmed by three mornings of frost.

I’d watch with disgust and bewilderment
as goats, not knowing brethren from t-shirts,
would pull on clotheslines to lick drying meat.

Ben Berman
Ben Berman

Ben Berman has received numerous honors from the New England Poetry Club and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Somerville Arts Council. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and has recent poems in Unsplendid, Solstice and Smartish Pace. He currently teaches creative poetry with Grub Street Writers in Boston. His first book, Close to Closure, will be published by Able Muse Press next spring.