On by one, they move away, claiming
I'm too old to explore their depths, too diseased
to enjoy their physiques, too surly
to savor the sweetness that makes them unique. A negative endorsement. Still
it's true: fruit no longer opens up
to me, showing me its pulp, reveling in
how my teeth sink in.
Apples, mangos, kiwis, plums, they're like
some folks I know, uneasy around the new, too wedded
to tradition to study how dying means
(in certain cases)
so alive that death can't screw with you.
But the ones who want you dead think otherwise.
"It's comin' fer ya," Billy's dad tells me in a dream.
From his cigarette, smoke curls upward, dissolves.
Outside the Brass Rail Bar, we watch
a train rattle toward Massapequa.
What I wouldn't have given
for a taste of banana, then!