Poetry & Prose

It Rotted In Her Belly

Grasped a fistful from a recently cut

bag of rocket salad and I was caught in the sweet

viscous fingers of rot. What is the word

for an orange stone fruit

that somewhere

under its film skin

had started to burst

into a different black fruit?

That summer

I could have convinced myself

that it was a syllable-less groan

or that you could call

the follicular cabbage with a the dark curl on its ear

or a new softness

in the transparent layers

of its concentric heart

by the same name. My mother

cooks subzhi that drove here

some hundreds of miles

so I could freeze it. The freezer

is where I put things I want

so badly I can not bear to see them here

in front of me

already, now. I can stopper

the daily radius of rot

with keen ice and modern humming


         and I can be convinced

that in the yellow lurch of the water

and oil plastering their crystals

to the walls of the ziplock, that in the cells, actually

the rot has already taken hold,

mitochondria and blip of

nuclei new with a technicolor

not their own. As though matter hadn’t always

been churning to splotch, when I was younger and didn’t think

to worry about mold, my mother

would keep the potatoes and onions

through the floor below the kitchen,

in a plastic basket in the basement. This taught me

the decadence of necessities. I stood watching

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