Volume 68, Number 1 · Fall 2018

Six Ways to Use a Spoon

First, to dig a ditch 
                                   the shape of a body 
                                                                       or, 
                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. 
                                                                                             Look, 
                             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. 
                                             Third, 
                                             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. 
                                                Oar? 
                                   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.