Melissa Broder
Soup
                                    
When the Second Avenue Deli became

a bank he got the flu. I made him Jewish

penicillin, me—a vegetarian—

ripping chicken off

 

the bone; a blizzard of egg noodles, fresh dill,

martyrdom, and parsnips, seeking praise, results,

it worked. He stopped crying about his muscles,

I started looking

 

at the real estate listings. A year later

we learned his immune system had gone bankrupt.

The liver doc said: Liver. The blood doc: Blood.

The psychologist

 

called it psychophysiologic illness.

But I was going to heal him with pea soup,

conjure some babushka spirits from shtetl

realms and make it all

 

better. The docs did what docs do. A teaspoon

of Galantamine, a small pinch of Valcyte,

a half cup of Immune Globulins fumet.

Stir, simmer, and blend.

 

He still couldn't get out of bed. I made more

soup. African peanut, escarole and bean,

zucchini cheese, alphabet. Everyone,

it seemed, had someone

 

to recommend. A healer in Ithaca

Uncle David went to see. A sage in Taos.

A D.O. with a radio show. Hope soup.

Snake oil salesman soup.


          
  Melissa Broder is a literary publicist getting her MFA in poetry from The City College of New York. She is the recipient of the 2008 Stark Poetry Prize in Honor of Raymond Patterson and The 2008 Jerome Lowell Dejur Award. Her work has most recently appeared in: Opium Magazine, Del Sol Review and Flesh.
                                               
                                               
 © Melissa Broder All Rights Reserved