I used to live on love alone
    but found it was a risky plan.
Since then my belly’s overgrown
     from cakes and tarts, parfaits, and flan.

My edges, rounded by desserts
     which sweeten and expand a man,
can curb whatever ails or hurts
     as well as your romances can.

By answering my hunger pains
     and filling up my paunch, my heart
feels full, for gastronomic gains
     are analgesic too, in part.

And there’s no fickleness in lunch
     nor heartbreak in a chicken wing.
What’s more, I’ve found the more I munch
     the less I crave—that other thing.

Though sometimes when I first awaken
     I do feel a throbbing—there—
I cure the thing with eggs and bacon,
     toast and jam, a healthy share.

In other words, rather than melting away
     by living on only love, I
allow myself to “seize the day,”
     a dumpling, and a slice of pie.

You’ve gotten far too thin, I feel,
     but what have you got planned tonight?
Why don’t you join me for a meal?
     Then you’ll start to feel all right.

About the author:

James B. Nicola’s poems have appeared in the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews; Rattle; and Barrow Street. His seven full-length collections (2014-22) are Manhattan PlazaStage to PageWind in the CaveOut of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists, QuickeningFires of Heaven, and Turns & Twists. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His poetry and prose have received a Dana Literary Award, two Willow Review awards, Storyteller’s People’s Choice award, one Best of Net, one Rhysling, and ten Pushcart nominations—for which he feels both stunned and grateful. A graduate of Yale, he hosts the Hell’s Kitchen International Writers’ Round Table at his library branch in Manhattan: walk-ins welcome.

Feature image by Gastro Editorial on Unsplash