Weekly Poem: ‘Chocolate’

BY Mary Jo Brooks  February 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM EDT

In celebration of Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, a poem by Rita Dove.



Chocolate

Velvet fruit, exquisite square
I hold up to sniff
between finger and thumb—

how you numb me
with your rich attentions!
If I don’t eat you quickly,

you’ll melt in my palm.
Pleasure seeker, if I let you
you’d liquefy everywhere.

Knotted smoke, dark punch
of earth and night and leaf,
for a taste of you

any woman would gladly
crumble to ruin.
Enough chatter: I am ready

to fall in love!

From “American Smooth” by Rita Dove, published by W. W. Norton & Company 2004. Dove served as the U.S Poet Laureate from 1993-1995, and for the past two decades she has taught at the University of Virginia. Watch our recent conversation with her here.

From a few years ago, here’s our Valentine’s Day piece with poets and married couple Mary Jo Salter and Brad Leithauser.