“Biscuit” by Hannah Gamble

Hannah Gamble


When I saw her at the bar
it was already almost two.

I thought lucky hours, and sidled
up. She looked like the kind of girl

who would begin to sneeze mid-orgasm,
like when a rat is suddenly adorable

bringing his gnarled pink foot up
to scratch a dewy ear.

I wanted to draw her baby hair
up by the silky handful

to see how thick her neck was,
like I’d be able to get a wad

in my mouth and carry her
like a pup. Her clothing was like a family

assembled by taking one orphan
from each continent. She seemed

like a philanthropist, or a hoarder,
or a biscuit unbuttered. There’s something stupid

about a biscuit. Also something
very gentle. The lights came on

in the bar and the music went away
completely. She had noticed me

looking at her, but her expression
was no different than it had been before,

when she was poking one large
finger into a bowl of salted nuts,

only the slightest hint of dismay
when the salt in the bowl

let her know she had
cut it.

from Rattle #46, Winter 2014
Neil Postman Award Winner


Hannah Gamble: “I started writing poetry when I was living in Bloomington, Indiana, working as a bank teller and hating my life. I joined a community women’s writing group for some kind of creative outlet, and, after about a month, got bored with the little memoirish essays I was writing. Within a month of writing the first poem I’d written in five years (I’d taken a poetry class as a college freshman) I decided to apply to MFA programs. I did it. I got into the University of Houston, and now, in addition to other things (singer, teacher, art model, friend, sibling, daughter), I am a writer.” (web)

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