• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 07
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A Garden Between Walls

Soil ignores the blue painted wall
with its graffiti of tropical greens
and sunburnt salamanders, a postcard
nostalgia for distant rain forests.

A neighborhood garden grows
between buildings whose foundations
dig down as deep as the fibrous
roots of a century old oak.

Like sugar or salt, granulated
earth, raked and hoed for planting
in the neighborhood garden,
crumbles and flows,
filling the void,
a black river of detritus
processed from any and all
glorious organic matter,
rotting and seething,
redolent in nutrients
stewed and seeping
from kitchen garbage:
tossed rinds, coffee grounds,
egg shells, the scum
from unwashed plates.

This cyclical composted waste
ferments to feed life
from a thousand comestible deaths.


A Garden Between Walls

Two-, four- and six-legged creatures
run, scramble, burrow along pathways
in terrestrial cities within cities
stealing from steel and concrete
a cultivated natural ecosystem
open to rain and sunlight
under the care of community—

a few hours a day to grow a radish
to nourish tomatoes and eggplant
to weed carrots, cucumber
and vining beans—

a stolen, rescued Eden
framed between brick
asphalt and cement,
rising from the loamy cracks
of a city landscape.