Shenandoah Volume 68, Number 1
Volume 68, Number 1 · Fall 2018

Six Ways to Use a Spoon

First, to dig a ditch 
                                   the shape of a body 
                shallower and closer to home, 
 scrape off flaky lead 
                     paint or dead skin 
                                                      blistered dry by sun. Second, 
                   to play a trick or spoons or pull 
with your teeth—bend with your mind to make 
                      a spectacle. 
                                           You’re a spectacular jubilee. 
                             it’s a mirror holding your face that ends 
            up where the light curves            
                                                          where you end 
                                                          and the up ends. 
                            Comeuppance upends 
                                                                     in an up- 
                          stairs away from the noise of the kids. 
You barely recognize your self-
                                                        portrait in a convex curl. 
                                             to pool light in, 
                                             to sip lightly from, 
                                             to be a way toward light— 
                            a conduit connecting cut lamp wire. Fourth, 
              to scoop the eye jelly of a Cyclops 
                      from between your foot and sandal or 
      scratch off the sap-turned-tar of a burnt log 
                                       driven into the oculus of some Polyphemus, 
                                                                      which either means much 
                                                                      renowned or many 
                                                                      reputations or 
                    a straight-A student cutting 
      sophomore English again 
 like here we go digging again— 
               a hole 
                           the size of a larger body 
                                                                     this time. 
                                   Isn’t that the way it goes? Fifth, to steer 
                                                       a mouse afloat, 
               a rudder or oar for a mouse-sized boat. 
                               I’ll say hat, 
      and you’ll say 
                            we’re playing again. 
         Sixth, I’ll say poem, 
and you’ll say 
                         we’re playing again. 
   I’ll say this spoon is an or. 
                                   No, or. 
                                               I think you mean and. 
            I think I mean and 
                                               I’m startled that I do 
                                               at all— 

Dujie Tahat is a Filipino-Jordanian immigrant living in Washington state. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Sugar House Review, Nashville Review, the Southeast Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, the American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Dujie has earned fellowships from the Richard Hugo House and Jack Straw Writing Program. He serves as a poetry editor for Moss and Homology Lit and cohosts the Poet Salon podcast. He got his start as a Seattle Poetry Slam Finalist, a collegiate grand slam champion, and Seattle Youth Speaks Grand Slam Champion, representing Seattle at HBO’s Brave New Voices.