Poem: Brussels Sprouts Eating

I’m back to that playful, formal style once again. I’m assuming this will come as a relief to some, mainly my mom. For some reason I am really into pentameter and have been since I wrote the poem “Garbage Day.” I am working on a poem presently that is also in pentameter. It’s called “Louisville Slugger” and extra excited to finish it. So here is my playful little poem about many a thing all in one and which takes it’s dreadful title from all the poems, I can count at least four off the top of my head, that are called “Blackberry Picking.” Enjoy!


Brussels Sprout Eating


Thought of you today while eating Brussels sprouts.

I was walking into my routine, past

Doughnuts eyeing me from behind the glass,

Past the cold cuts at the deli, hoping

The soup to be on sale, coconut curry

Chicken, specifically, an easy meal that agrees

With all my rules for dieting, calories,

Fat to protein ratios, all that shit

You shouldn’t read in magazines covered

With six-packed Hollywood stars, posing

Statue of Davidesque and out of reach.


Anyway, what I wanted to say was

How I changed direction mid-step, to quickly

And nearly slipped where the floor was wet

From tracked in rain, and felt the hard left hook

Of hunger’s fist catch me under the ribs.

Brussel Sprouts on display like shrunken heads

Of lettuce anointed in oil, gleaming

Mercifully like Aaron’s dripping beard.

They were roasted with white onion and cubed

Pancetta, bacon’s fancy Italian name,

Which is a whole sub-category of foods

I can’t eat because anorexia and bulimia

Can’t seem to agree to disagree

On how little bacon I’m not allowed to eat.


But the boycott on bacon was back when

Time shuffled on like pages in my hands;

When the only possible answer to What

Kind of meat do you want in your curry?

Was chicken, preferably 99% fat free;

That was before brunches, eggs on Sundays,

Salads with cheese and two scoops of dressing;

Before evenings spent baking Brussels sprouts,

Their smell, which your roommate hated, lingered

For hours after, like the incense that rises

And keeps watch, a second cloud beneath the skylight;

Before couches and tea cups in our hands,

Before distance between us lessened

And we shared the diced and broiled

Taste of white onion on each other’s lips.


All this I thought of as the man spooned sprouts

Into a container and weighed it out.


A lid opened in me when the lid let go

Of the coffin-fitted plastic brim,

Their smell entered me like a door walked through

On Sunday mornings, when I would come over

To pick you up and a Brussels sprouts smell

Was still hanging around. I forked the sprouts,

Tried each time to couple one with bacon,

Whom I had now forgiven, and moved on

Slowly to the next, holding the onions

Each time on my tongue, savoring its kiss,

And being with you just one bite longer.



I welcome your feedback!


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