Two Poems by F.J. Bergmann

Earthly Delights

The cauliflower he had carefully placed in his conch skull
seemed to be making inappropriate decisions lately:
the stacked gourds it had carefully selected
to function as vertebrae kept slipping out
and rolling down the sidewalk. The toes were all right;
the cherry tomatoes had been freshly picked that morning,
plump and taut with ripeness, but most of the fingers,
miniature chili peppers, red to match the toes,
were beginning to shrivel.

He wasn’t happy with his buttocks, either;
those white eggplants never seemed to get as large
as the purple ones. The frog in his throat
wouldn’t stay on its apple, and the roses in his cheeks
were slowly shedding their petals on the wind.
But his potatoes were all eyes. Staring
at Lettuce’s enormous melons,
he felt his hard green cucumber



She had forget-me-not eyes,
sky-blue and very small,
on long, green-leafed stalks.

She had cheeks like roses,
petalled, convoluted, crawling
with large iridescent beetles.

She had skin like cream,
dribbling from her flesh
and flowing into a gooey
white puddle at her feet.

She had golden hair,
but she couldn't do anything
with it. It bent in her sleep.
Her dandruff glittered.

She had ruby lips, redly
translucent, hard, faceted,
ticking like a raven's beak
against a dark windowpane
when she spoke. Her words
were sharp, but precious.

Her kisses were like wine.
Men would reel drunken
from her embrace, vomiting
and searching desperately
for a twelve-step program.

She was a red-hot mama:
she brushed against objects
and they ignited. Flames
squabbled at her heels
like ill-behaved children.

She moved like Jello on springs.
All that was left were a pair
of rusted Slinkies, discolored,
sticky, humming with bees.