In those formative years,
we had to sneak to bed,
wait for morning’s slow sprout.
We grew separated
by spade, soft
as mush, new spuds
underground, and emerged
rough-peeled in the other’s palm,
became those rough ovate shapes
we’ve come to recognize
as something good,
not good for you,
a staple of
a balanced diet.
(originally published in The Icarus Anthology, Summer 2017)
The longer potatoes taste air, the more
they rust over time. We strummed
guitars with calloused fingertips
(melodious incision). The pot
overfills from the weight of boiling.
We whistled unfamiliar tunes through
afternoon orgasms. My teeth cannot chew
the raw. Steam will temper the room
enough to sustain our songs in my head.
I always liked to mix vegetables
into the mash, the music, but the days
are already too easy to cry. The onion
remains sheathed in its flaky armor.
Bunches of corn are never shucked.
Even the cheddar stays in plastic past
when these potatoes soften enough
to feed. The chords are always
harsh. We could never eat our fill.
(originally published in The Wagon Magazine, Autumn 2016)