• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 09

Tomato season

The sun keeps us captive, yellow circle, it is more cheese
than the slab on the table. We shave it of pungent dust,
air thick with fat and birthing and tomato acid sharpness,
and they say we are programmed to enjoy them together,
to bleed dry this season, when cows swell pink, vines red.
I can no longer digest milk, and the trees ooze out pollen
that coats my gums, itches, turns tomato fluid into poison.

Instead, I let metal strings carve out my fingers and palm,
adjust the weight of the solid wooden body on my knee,
so natural now - this is my muscle memory, my gut need.
If I was created for anything, it was to keep creating me,
and it is a struggle, so heavy to hold, tiring to remember
which vital chord is which, to keep - the rhythm - going,
and when to drop onto sticky grass, accept that I am done.