Crying Over Spilt Milk, by J.J. Steinfeld

“Crying Over Spilt Milk” was first published in Space and Time (Issue #119, Summer/Fall 2013).

Why are you crying, Mister?
the little animal asks
and to say I am taken aback
is an understatement to the tenth power.
BecauseI clear my throat
and think about a long-ago lecture
on theology and the paranormal
I missed to see a foreign film —
because in a poem I wrote
when I was fifteen
and learning about metaphors
I made the souls of the lost milky
encased them in a fragile urn
bought at an antique store
and now I see that milk
from long ago on the sidewalk
and I cry for the milk
and all the lost metaphors
of my youth equally lost.
A metaphor is a trick, I explain,
a trick of the mind and the eye —
milk and soul, soul and milk.
Are you not thirsty? the animal asks
then I wonder if it too is a metaphor
an artificial construct of mine
or merely a little animal
who has learned to speak from
a distance-education course
on the all-too-real internet.


Canadian writer J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published seventeen books, including Disturbing Identities (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), and An Unauthorized Biography of Being (110 Short Fictions Hovering Between the Absurd and the Existential, Ekstasis Editions).
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Posted on December 21, 2016, in Issue 19: Speculative Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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