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!