March 29, 2020
Today I have sat on my knees
in front of my window, watched
the fruit flies which walk there, up, down,
without noticing each other. They stayed
even after I crawled around the floor to gather
apple cores and uneaten sandwiches in wax
paper bags, yogurt cups congealed, tea cups,
their bag-hearts crusted irrevocably with white
and yellow molds, so hesitantly conscripted
from the air. The mold says: “We will kill but we will
do it always ready to turn heel, if you change
your mind and decide, we should live sporic,
in freedom, unplanted by these wars.”
So the mold is angry. And the fruit flies say:
“We love you more when you do not eat,
when you leave your packed lunches hunched
on the rug, leaking. We imagine, and we do it
only kindly, that you may grow so skinny
that you die. This is why we so love, your forgetting.”
When things give, it is natural to take. I too,
would want to put my tasting feet places
where they had been batted from, eat,
eat and brim to fullness
with delicious dread, because this eating
means the room stays clean. The body
makes no more edible mess, after it has liquified
where it is soft, elsewhere crumbled. Familiar
is the weight of meals like that. Swallowers of next year’s seeds.
Listen! With the fruit flies,
learn to eat the paper on the walls,
onion skins, fabrics softened with rot,
the discarded stems of bananas. Learn self preservation.
Food will not wait for us so we will stand and wait
in unclaimed orchards, chins up under the trees,
for fruit to widen itself from nothing and into maturity
like their re-coloring is performed
by our patience. “But we are still green,” say the bananas,
“and it means nothing to us. Not just your crude, obvious eyes,
are able to decide when things are finished. We know ourselves better.”
The bananas say: “We are still green.” It’s true.
And unripeness must feel real as readiness,
or realer, tighter, and solitary, the peel known and named
the confiner, the eggshell. All the fiber of the life
sticking to it like thick veins pressed
to the side of heavy udders,
protective. So today I have imagined being firm,
un-breachable, made for my greenness, unable to be spoken to.
For when there is spring there is only spring,
when there is summer there has only ever been summer.
When I am, I am, and am, and am. And inescapable.
I say: “The rug has already taken me and given me back.
I have jumped out the window and risen through it, starved,
moldered. And I am still green.”
I say: “un-killable.”
And I speak of you, as you now are.