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IthacaLit   Literary Magazine: Lit with Art © 2011

All individual works copyrighted by their authors. All rights reserved.

First Credit IthacaLit. ISSN: 2372-4404

Gene FENDT, Spring 2019

The Lyric Frame of Sorrow


"I like your apple pie," he said,

embracing her from behind,

"but I really love your buns."

He leaned into her, his hands

impossibly under her apron, blouse, and bra

as she leaned out to place

the pie up on the cooling rack

beyond the child's sudden hands.

"One of us is going to get burned,"

she said, wishing the signs of his affection

would avail themselves of times

less inopportune, if not, precisely,

dangerous. "We're out of milk,"

she said, blue veins warming in his hands.

"Take Tommy; I'll get the table set."

"And then...?" he murmured in her ear,

one hand trailing down her stomach.

"We'll eat." --She turned and pecked his lip.

October and the trees in their celebratory fall

chasuble the hills in martyr red and gold,

bereave the sunset of her glory for a day,

orange the moon, and set the river's curves aflame;

for nothing turns the planets from their courses: the sun

declines from Libra to the Scorpion; the car,

returning, rounds the downhill curve to find the tank truck

stalled. Standing on the brake he pulls his son's head

to his lap, turns right hard, goes under; the car

is opened like a can of Spam. A neighbor runs to the road:

a glittering angel lies in the lap of the headless man,

a bruise above one eye, no further harm; no further harm.

Gene Fendt is the Albertus Magnus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, where he has been teaching for over 30 years. He has published in many areas of the history of philosophy, as well as on Shakespeare, Pinter, Stoppard and Camus. Though he has won several awards for individual poems, he has yet to publish a book of poetry.