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THANKSGIVING By Diana Der-Hovanessian "Love is not all. It is not food nor drink." Edna St. Vincent Millay Nor is food love, but palate's sport alone. Even with ceremony, without toast or vow, it is just means of keeping flesh on bone. But table and altar are confused somehow. We substitute our food again, again for rites of love. Look how this buffet sinks with golden fowl and platters of grain and candles for our eyes to drink. Love is not food. But in the name of those with parched throats, who could not eat or pray, whose empty mouths have closed, whose bellies swelled with pain not meat, we call it sustenance when it is shared. And sharing we call prayer. From Songs of Bread, Songs of Salt, Ashod Press -- Diana Der Hovanessian is a Fulbright professor of American literature at Yerevan State University in 1994 and 1999, she is author of 17 books and has published in American Scholar, Poetry, Harvard Review, Nation, Paris Review, New Republic, and her poetry is regularly published in the Christian Science Monitor. She has awards from the Columbia Translation Center, P.E.N., Writers Union of America, and the Writers Union of Armenia.