Featured Poetry: Basic Recipes by Keagan LeJeune

Basic Recipes

Nothing short of miracle, the fruit flies
just appear. First, we fear the trash,
then blame the peaches bought days before,
then the cut flowers from the yard,
then the pipes beneath the floor,
the window frames, the door, the gaps
along the countertop. Soon, each inch of kitchen
becomes the reason for their blooming here.

But after a time, no one cares to ask anymore
why our rooms dance with clouds of flies.
So what if some sleight of hand began it all.
We simply want such fecundity to be done.

We take to powders shaken from a sieve,
but poisons do nothing more than prove
we have no answer for openwork wings
and eggs as fine as dust. A saucer’s worth
of red wine vinegar is what works—
a cup on the counter they can’t let pass.
At night we sleep while they gorge
and wake to dump the dead into the trash.

It’s a lesson of what amounts to magic here.
How it begins with basic recipes of desire—
gums of bitters along a windowsill,
trails of honey cakes that end in mouths of fire.

Purchase Issue 9.1


Keagan LeJeuneKeagan LeJeune lives and teaches English and folklore in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He holds an MFA in creative writing from McNeese State University and a PhD in folklore. Most recently his poems have appeared in Louisiana Literature, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Louisiana, and Gilded Circles and Sure Trouble: The Art of Josephine Sacabo and Keagan LeJeune (21st Editions: The Art of the Book), which combines his poetry with Sacabo’s photography. His manuscript was a semi-finalist for the 2013 Berkshire Prize. He has also published nonfiction works on outlaw legends and a region of Louisiana known as the Louisiana Neutral Strip.

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