A Strange and Bitter Crop

From our distance of space or place or race,
this convenient myopia blurs
crimson coloration on leaf and root,
the disturbing sway of too abundant fruit,
the fattened crows feasting
amid the branches of those popular poplar trees.

How many times did I lose myself
amid Billie and Nina’s melodious melancholy
before the words insinuated into my consciousness
as the smell of burning flesh beneath the magnolia?

And now that we have tasted
of the tree of knowledge
and understand the cost of our illusory Eden,
will we willingly sweat and toil,
will we embrace all as brothers and sisters in dust,
will we thank the serpent?

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