A Lesson in Crust
poetry by Maggie Rue Hess

Teach me patience. To wait 
develops a better flavor. 

Stumble my hungry
and whet my hands.

Let me practice the body, 
Jesus’ or mine, it is risen

with time. Teach 
me to listen, love me hollow

as if the crumb is 
the best part, the breath of me.

It could be so simple. Salt,
flour, yeast, water, stretch

but rest, rest longer. Teach me 
to love my alone;

growth is a solitary act.
Harm is a lesson in crust. 

The right amount of chew, 
how to be a mouthful.

Maggie Rue Hess (she/her) is a graduate student and former high school teacher living in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her partner and their two pups. Her work has previously appeared in Rattle, Minnesota Review, Connecticut River Review, and other publications. Her debut chapbook, The Bones That Map Us, is forthcoming from Belle Point Press in 2024. You can keep up with her shenanigans on Instagram.

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