Originally published May 27, 2014
Song for the Pumpkins
We could pretend that the word prosaic
is a portmanteau of prose and mosaic–
a series of broken stories arranged just so
to make art.
But I confess I do not find the way
you leave the bathroom
splattered in beard-hair
after your weekly shave
–as if your razors were a machine gun scatting bullets–
Nor do I find your habit of chewing-gum,
thrashing, and snoring,
usually at the same time, usually as soon as I fall asleep,
I reach over to shake you awake as if breaking you
from a seizure.
Awake, I don’t tell you that I dreamt I knew
what love was,
that it’s when you want everyone else to think
you’re a decent human being,
except for that one person who knows
you’re terrible and great,
who knows that you are King David
with his harp and his murder.
That made me worry.
But this is a song for the pumpkins,
and not for anxiety,
because they deserve recognition,
each a small, bumpy world for the aphids.
This is a song for the pumpkins you made
by tilling the earth and laughing,
despite the floods, the weeds, the sun.
This is a song
for the pumpkins, growing under your care
not breaking, or dreaming, or turning into shrapnel.
At night, I swear I can hear them breathing.