The Idea of the Taste

 Cantaloupe Sliced, by  Bob AuBuchon

Cantaloupe Sliced, by Bob AuBuchon

Not Easily
by Jack Gilbert (February 18, 1925 – November 13, 2012), from Collected Poems

When we get beyond beauty and pleasure,
to the other side of the heart (but short
of the spirit), we are confused about what
to do next. It is too easy to say arriving
is enough. To pretend the music
of the mountain needs only to be heard.
That the dance is known by the dancing,
and the lasagne realized by eating it.
Not in this place on the other side
of desire. We can swim in the Aegean,
but we can't take it home. A man finds
a melon by the road and continues up
the hill thinking it is the warm melon
that will remain after he has forgotten
the ruins and sea of the summer. He tells
himself this even as the idea of the taste
is replacing what the melon tasted like.