Flesh and Seed
You and I have not stood together in an orchard
for so long that I have forgotten how the sweet rot
enters my nose and fills my lungs until I am convinced
a fruit must be growing inside me. I have forgotten
the feel of damaged flesh underfoot, with sores soft
and open and round. And the sun in the sky, a sharp disk
that could slice the air clean through, where has it gone?
Off to a parallel world where it hangs not over mountains
but above high-rises in an old city that still smells like coal.
I read that co-workers are supposed to hug sparingly
in their office buildings, and never in restrooms
or from behind or in a full embrace. You and I worked
the same tree for hours, our heads in the leaves.
We never weighed the bounty of the day in dollars
or pounds. As the sun stained the trees, we opened
our arms to each other as if each of us were a seed
coming home to soil. We spared nothing, not even
the water we carried inside our own bodies,
which we would have given like rain to save the other.
Table of Contents | Return to Poem Directory