Joy Ladin

How Much

I could talk about being sick, but I always talk about being sick,
because I'm always sick, but today I'm sick
and happy, stuffed with fried artichoke, reggiano, gnocchi, and the glow
of knowing my name will be forgotten
when those who knew me are gone,
though of course I'll be remembered by God,
but will God remember the fennel salad and fried rice balls,
the candle on the table reflected in the wine
and the little flame when our fingers brush,
and how much I love the woman who loves me,
how much I love,
how much?

Joy Ladin is the author of six books of poetry, including last year's The Definition of Joy, Lambda Literary Award finalist Transmigration, and Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life; her seventh collection, Impersonation, is due out in 2015. Her memoir, Through the Door of Life, was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist. Her work has appeared in many publications, including American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Southern Review, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and North American Review, and has been recognized with a Fulbright Scholarship. She holds the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University.