i have a proverbial salad confined in my verse
from every corner of the fertile earth;
only certain fruits belong in poems:

apples—times of innocence and a glass of milk on the side,
Americana at its finest, fresh-baked and cooling on the window sill
or mushed up and fed to a toothless infant mouth.

plums—Williams did it best
but their juices are smooth and never-ending, the pit
is only something you take hold of when your fingers are properly drenched.

oranges—vitamin C, healing, the toughness of peels
and the bitterness of the white stringy substance under the zest
that every poet picks out of their teeth.

peaches—only if one writes about the South
in a positive light
(and only writers from the South should ever taste that fruit).

grapes—only in the context of good wine;
or bad wine if one has enough of a problem
like any good poet should.

tomatoes—fruits at their finest: as little orbs
plucked from merciless vines by colored hands—
in fact, white poets should not use tomatoes: they are mine.

pomegranates—the Fruit, says some Biblical scholar
(the apple is just too American to be used as Knowledge):
antioxidants can heal you and Knowledge can open your eyes—

killing you.

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