Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz


Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1978. She received a BFA from New York University, where she cofounded the NYC-Urbana Poetry Slam. She is the author of several poetry collections, including How to Love the Empty Air (Write Bloody Publishing, 2018); The Year of No Mistakes (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013), winner of a Book of the Year Award from the Writers’ League of Texas; Everything Is Everything (Write Bloody Publishing, 2010); and Dear Future Boyfriend (The Wordsmith Press, 2000). She is also the author of two books of nonfiction, including Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam (Soft Skull, 2007), which, Billy Collins writes, “leaves no doubt that the slam poetry scene has achieved legitimacy and taken its rightful place on the map of contemporary literature.” Aptowicz has received an Amy Clampitt Residency and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Source


The figs we ate wrapped in bacon.

The gelato we consumed greedily:

coconut milk, clove, fresh pear.

How we’d dump hot espresso on it

just to watch it melt, licking our spoons

clean. The potatoes fried in duck fat,

the salt we’d suck off our fingers,

the eggs we’d watch get beaten

’til they were a dizzying bright yellow,

how their edges crisped in the pan.

The pink salt blossom of prosciutto

we pulled apart with our hands, melted

on our eager tongues. The green herbs

with goat cheese, the aged brie paired

with a small pot of strawberry jam,

the final sour cherry we kept politely

pushing onto each other’s plate, saying,

No, you. But it’s so good. No, it’s yours.

How I finally put an end to it, plucked it

from the plate, and stuck it in my mouth.

How good it tasted: so sweet and so tart.

How good it felt: to want something and

pretend you don’t, and to get it anyway.





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Literary Devices:


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie