Tuesday, August 28, 2018

sucker branches

It's the time of year for pears,
says my father on the feast of St. Augustine.

They're good now and they don't last for long.

It's tempting to reach for them,
knowing how—in just a few short weeks—
they'll have all the give of bricks beneath your hands
and turn sandy in your mouth.

Why not take them now?

In just a few months,
they'll be useless,
you'll wait for them to ripen on the shelf,
bootlessly.

Just take them while you can,
pluck them while the
summer's good and its dog days are still long.

I am reminded
of a page of poetry I found

in a small manila envelope,
marked with cipherous setences—
notes from a long-forgotten
Carolina road trip.

the poetry is prophecy.
In simple script that became
vomit-stained,
I wrote on the 6 train going downtown
what I wanted life to yield to me,
harvest hopes penned in the dead of winter.

It jots down all the moments I was looking for,
and sketches them in ink:
what I hope romance can be—
what it must be if it will be.

Conveyed by a page decorated with naive,
youthful (mis)calculations
and discernments so half-baked—
an earnest ersatz—
my own voice calls to mind a vision:

It is you.
It was you, then.
And I was reaching for
unripe pears.

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