Poems by Lisa Sita
“Of Teeth and Men”
By Lisa Sita
Over the flicker of tea lights, amid the clank
of silverware, white-noise chatter, and bustle of waiters,
he looks with pity on my dinner salad and insists,
without provocation, that humans are built to eat meat.
“See?” he says, lips pulled back, touching the tip of a canine.
“We’re carnivores. We wouldn’t have these if we weren’t.”
Lions come to mind, the graceful, mighty chase
through the savannah, the primal push that sends
wildebeests flying, blood throbbing, before the kill.
Then a quick succession of ancient relations:
habilis in that same savannah two million years in the past,
chipping the crude stone tools that will cut his scavenged meat;
erectus, not much later, squatting by a fire,
pitching hunks of animal flesh into the sizzling flames;
Neanderthals with brawny arms spearing a mastodon,
its death bellow ringing in the bitter Ice Age air.
I mention none of this when, pressing me,
he insists on knowing how I can deny
myself the pleasure of a good steak.
“We have evolved,” is all I say,
then stab my fresh Bibb lettuce
with a floral-patterned fork.
“The Winter Garden”
By Lisa Sita
Frost has formed on the kitchen window,
antique rippled glass in a white-painted frame.
She places her hand on the pane to feel the fiery chill,
fingers spread-eagled against a square of bright blue sky.
Outside, at the edge of the sleeping garden
a wall of pines along the fence stands poised
against the cold. A feral cat, cushioned in white fur,
lounges beneath the dried hydrangea stems
beside the worn statue of Saint Francis
cradling a stone sparrow in his hand.
Inside, no tick of clock disturbs her,
no human voice, no creak of old wood settling.
She stands cocooned in silence
like the monarchs that will decorate the bush by the arbor
when spring nudges them from their earlier lives
and they break the delicate wombs that hold them.
Too soon, tires crackling gravel on the driveway
pull her towards that other place
of noise and obligations, of trivial chores
etched in the mind to be done at a later time,
which may never come in the speed of days
rushing through wasted moments,
while beyond the kitchen window
the winter garden remains,
the cardinal on the gray bench remains,
bright red against the weathered wood.
- Lisa Sita is a New York-based writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She has also authored several educational books for young readers on various topics. Lisa holds an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University and an MA in Anthropology from The New School. She is currently an adjunct lecturer in anthropology at Queensborough Community College/CUNY. Visit her website at https://lisasita.com/