COSOMSI Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast

by Melissa Studdard

It looked like a pancake,

but it was creation flattened out—

the fist of God on a head of wheat,

milk, the unborn child of an unsuspecting

chicken — all beaten to batter and drizzled into a pan.

I brewed my tea and closed my eyes

while I ate the sun, the air, the rain,

photosynthesis on a plate.

I ate the time it took that chicken

to bear and lay her egg

and the energy it takes a cow to lactate a cup of milk.

I thought of the farmers, the truck drivers,

the grocers, the people who made the bag that stored the wheat,

and my labor over the stove seemed short,

and the pancake tasted good,

and I was thankful.

This poem first appeared in Dash Literary Journal 3 (Spring 2010).
Used here with the author’s permission. —

And here are the ISBN Numbers: ISBN-10: 0988944766

ISBN-13: 978-0988944763

UnknownI Dream; Therefore You Are 

by Melissa Studdard

Moon & Pillow

say this is yesterday, and I’ve

pasted you back together

with salt. I mixed you with straw

& carried you into the desert to dry. My adobe


my red earth, my paper doll,

I forgot that the rock I propped

you up against

was made of tombstone,

so I searched beneath your eyelids

for an explanation of color. I built

highways & colonies across

the meadows of sleep.

I followed you into the temple of absence

to learn how to die.

Don’t you know

how hard it is to keep you

buried? Please.

Have some compassion.

It’s like a swamp in this desert.

The caskets are at sea level

and always rising. See—

there you go, floating by, mouth full of

music and death.

I guess this means they finally told you:

You are the corpse in this off-key song.

And my words are a pilgrimage

bearing gifts. I brought you flowers.

Is it too late? Are you hungry?

I’m planting a casserole

in the grass.


We Are the Universe

by Melissa Studdard

Watching your mouth as you eat I think

perhaps an apple is the universe and your body

is an orchard full of trees. I’ve seen the way your leaves

cling to the ground in fall, and I noted then

that your voice sounded soft, like feathered, drifting things

coming finally to rest. Note:

I was the core in your pink flesh. You

were hungry birds

and foxes walking through the miles of me.

You climbed, dug your nails in my bark, yanked

something loose. Don’t tell me what it is.

Just keep it close.

Because I planted these rows

and rows of myself for you–

so I could lick the juice from your lips,

so I could remember

how round and hot

the promise of seed. If I could find

that orchard right now, I’d run all through the rows

of you. I’d stand in the center and twirl

until I got dizzy and fell. I’d climb high and shake

until the only thing left in you was longing,

and you’d write a poem for me. You’d say:

Your mouth is the universe. Your desire

is an orchard full of trees.

Photo by Jennifer Ayers of Ayers Design

Photo by Jennifer Ayers of Ayers Design

Melissa Studdard is the author of My Yehidah, The Tiferet Talk Interviews, and the best-selling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her books have received numerous awards, including the Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, January Magazine‘s best children’s books of the year, The Reader’s Favorite Award, and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. Her poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, is available from Saint Julian Press. Her short writings have appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies, and she currently serves as professor for Lone Star College System, a teaching artist for The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative, an editorial adviser for The Criterion, and host of Tiferet Talk radio. Visit her website. Melissa lives in Texas with her extended family and four sweet, but mischievous, cats.

Learn more about Melissa at

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