Poem that isn’t about Corn

One summer we grew corn. Cutting into the Virginia clay-sand soil. (My mother always cursed the dirt. Spoiled fertility.) I knifed three rows, ripping and clawing at clods of grass. Thick with sweat, slick skin slipping their grip on the yard tool just as suitable to cleave open his skull at the temple. That thought didn’t occur as the lower lumbar ache spread like a pandemic—flushing my muscles in a race of infection. Maybe somewhere deeper—nestled in a bed of arteries, feeding off fresh bleeding—it was growing. He was breeding me for domesticity. I loved those little pink seeds. I held them in my sticky palm. They looked like rock candy. I imagined sinking my teeth into the tawny flesh of that fruit. The hours, the labor, the loved poured over that fruit—the ache of that love would be tangible. I would sink my teeth into that flesh and sever it for good. but We let it die. Let it rot tall in its stalks. A mockery of that ache.

 

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First draft. Very in the works.

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