Two Poems by Claudia Gary






Cut and Run

Faced with a mango’s
sweetness, I recall
how my aunt would slice
the flame-hued ovoid—

cross-hatching sections,
flipping the soft skin
inside-out, each piece
offering itself

to my lips or spoon,
its flavor quickly
pierced by incisors,
then pulled, scraped away.

Faced with a torn
seam, I recall
her blanket stitch.

Her needle ran
ahead, then turned
off to one side,

making a loop,
each stitch a catch,
cloth sections pulled

together while
drawing apart.
I ran with it.

A Dish

To soothe your anxious temperament and spirit,
consider, for your last thought of the day,
Chana Masala.
Sheyna Maydele?
No, not a pretty girl — Indian chickpeas,
with garlic, ginger, spices, ripe tomatoes,
more calming than a Sheyna Maydele.
I’m sure this will intrigue you, summon you,
settle your dreams. No need to think of leaving
when there’s Chana Masala.
Do you mean
I should believe in seasonings and salt?
Maybe. Whatever recipe you follow,
love is a messy dish. This one is neater.

Claudia Gary lives near Washington DC and teaches workshops on Villanelle, Sonnet, Natural Meter, Poetry vs. Trauma, etc., at The Writer’s Center (, currently through live teleconferencing. Author of Humor Me (2006) and several chapbooks, most recently Genetic Revisionism (2019), she has been a semifinalist for the Anthony Hecht Prize (Waywiser) and received an Honorable Mention in the 2021 Able Muse book contest. She is also a health science writer, visual artist, and composer of tonal chamber music and art songs. Her chapbooks are available via the email address at this link: 

Image: Billjones94, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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