This piece is featured in Issue No. 11 Forbidden Fruit


Ambrosia \\ Sappho Once Said


I hum your name like a curse, 
dazzled by the way it feels 
both right and wrong on my tongue. Smooth and fragrant yet 
tannic barbs leave you lingering. 
It is like honey, 
laden with a sweetness 
I have not known, 
as if I’ve only ever eaten 
candy names. 
Honey, unlike candy, has body – 
a thick thrilling realness that 
moves down my throat slow and soft and coats my tongue 
with a reminder of 
every wildflower in your name. 
How does a name bring to mind 
some dreamscape of feminine love 
in a violet-peppered field? 
Of daisy circlet caresses 
and careful crocus kisses? 
When the last of your honey name 
leaves my lips warm and sugared 
I’m too eager to taste it again. 
Tap it straight from the hive – 
never mind the bees and their stingers. They, too, would die for your name. 
I stumble over the syllables 
and laugh honey bubbles through swollen lips. Again and again hands gloved in amber slick I guzzle your honey sugar name 
and bathe breathless in bliss 
drowning in your name
until there’s nothing left to say. 
The sun sets on my hunger 
and all the bees have died. 
I fall drunk and ill 
searching for you 
in the clover pollen 
pulling back the petals 
and licking sugared dew 
from that hidden place. 
I ache in the rot of my frenzy. 
My stomach sick with excess. 
I am tethered to your violets and daisies fattened and subdued. 
I weep at the lack of you 
and wish I had only ever eaten candy names.

Sappho Once Said

sappho once said 
someone will remember us 
I say 
even in another time1 
or so the story goes 
possessed by 
visions of grecian waves 
briny, lapping the craigs 
that hug the ivory amphitheater 
lyre lyrics, languid 
dionysian festival love 
sun-warmed lips kneading 
to the strum of our teacher 
thrumming mayflies 
hover in the sweet salt 
of sweat between us 
sappho once said 
how was your day? :) 
good you?<3 
not bad, i wish you were here /// 
or so the story goes 
I begin to recognize 
as my pearl knuckles tremble 
hesitant over the keyboard 
face ablaze crimson 
the ichor of old gods 
flows between 
our gentle hellos 
coquettish emoticons 
last night I crafted 
a spotify playlist 

my muse: your name 
sappho once said 
And I'd be the immediate forgiveness 
In Eurydice 
Imagine being loved by me2 
or so the story goes 
we circuit the same sun 
as those old gods 
we bathe 
in ancient pools 
anointed with 
peony oil bathbombs 
rose petals from 
the corner store 
discount bouquets 
we echo 
beyond these temporal bounds 
sinking teeth into 
flesh into 
citrus into 
imbue our ancientness 
into this life 
and watch the ripple 
as sappho once said 
or so the story goes. 

1 Anne Carson translation of Sappho fragment 147 in If Not, Winter
2 Hozier, lyrics from “Talk”

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Jen Jakob

Jen Jakob (she/they) is an emerging poet based in Ottawa, Ontario, and identifies as a genderfluid lesbian. She is currently pursuing a BA in English and History at Carleton University. Jen is also on the editorial team of flo. literary magazine in Ottawa as their first reader of poetry. \\ IG: @velvet_syllables