Reading a poem aloud can reveal problems that aren’t obvious on the page. For example, “baked at 350 for fifteen minutes.” looks fine, but reads clunky because of “fifty for fifteen.” So, I’ll make it twenty minutes.

The second and third stanzas have lots of “you’d say” “I’d say”, etc. It’s mostly fine, but I’m going to remove the contraction at the beginning of the third stanza.

Does breath make waves in a pillow? Or on a pillow. Let’s change it and see. I’m still not sure about the last line. “furnace” seems a little out of place, and “making waves” seems tame.

What colors are prevalent? Brown, black, orange, red, white, green. Is this too many? Too much of one color? Or should something be emphasized? The only oddball is the mint sorbet. Should it be something else? I like the suddenness of mint, the immediate taste. Leave it for now.

Tomorrow will be working on line breaks. Here’s the revision. Not many changes, but the make a good difference.

Before You Slept

On Mondays, we always ate baked gravy rolls, which are brown gravy ladled over day-old rolls, with pepper, baked at 350 for twenty minutes.

It was our only fasting, after weekends of excess, of wild turtle soup, and sweet potatoes stuffed with cinnamon-fried turkey, and sauteed rosemary shrimp, and garlic wheat buns, and Spanish reds, and Spanish whites, and…afterward…Spanish aperitifs,

which we would sip while spooning mint sorbet from metal bowls, and watch the red sunset, or listen to rain pelt the tree leaves, when you’d say, “I loved the first dark chocolate you gave me,” and I’d say, “It had half melted,” and you’d say, “I loved the other half.”

We would finish our sherry and kiss while our lips were still wet and numb. You would always say, “I love you more than strawberries, more than a perfect London broil, more than juniper custard.” And I’d say, “I always look forward to tomorrow, to remembering you like this.”

And then we’d let the glasses rest, and find the bed. You’d be my furnace, while you slept, your breath making waves on the pillow.