#PinkGlowPineapple

I will always remember the day I first
tasted a borojo in a Costa Rican orchard
near the Panama border. The borojo
tasted like mulled wine and looked like
a baseball that someone had buried underground
for two hundred years; its texture
I can only compare to triple-crème Brie.

I dream of monstera deliciosa:
the fruit that looks like an ogre’s bunion
and smells like strawberry-guava pudding.
Or diospyros nigra, the black sapote,
which tastes like licking date paste off a stone.

This is not a bubblegum pink
nor is it a sultry magenta
or a coy blush. The exact hue
of Del Monte’s pineapple is more
of a peony-cantaloupe blend —
a color I’ve seen on polo shirts
in Cape Cod and on the lips of actresses
in midcentury Douglas Sirk films.
I’d call it Teenage Shrimp.

Each pineapple arrives with a gold-sealed
certificate of authenticity
congratulating the recipient
on obtaining this royal delicacy
and a helpful reminder
to tag #PinkGlowPineapple
and watch the likes pour in.

(From Instagram Fruit)

Flowerspeak

Poppy, scarlet, fantastic extravagance,
Damask rose, brilliant complexion;
Camellia, red, unpretending excellence,
Japan rose, beauty is your only attraction.
Mistletoe, I surmount difficulties,
Rose, daily, thy smile I aspire to;
Citron, ill-natured beauty,
Mulberry tree, I shall not survive you.
Sorrel, wild, wit ill-timed,
Butterfly weed, let me go;
Hundred-leaved rose, dignity of mind,
Cistus, gum, I shall die tomorrow.
American starwort, cheerfulness in old age,
Locust tree, green, affection beyond the grave.

(Flower meanings from Collier’s Cyclopedia, 1882)

In flight

Owls move in a buoyant manner, as if 
lighter than air, herons seem incumbered 
with too much sail for their light bodies. 

The green-finch exhibits such languishing 
and faltering gestures as to appear 
like a wounded and dying bird.

Fernowls, or goat-suckers, glance in the dusk
over the tops of trees like a meteor; 
starlings as it were swim along. White-throats 

use odd jerks and gesticulations 
over the tops of hedges and bushes,
woodpeckers fly volatu undosu

opening and closing their wings at 
every stroke, and so are always rising 
or falling in curves.

(English naturalist Gilbert White, 1778)

Beside me

ok I’m a human and you’re a human
and we’re going to take an intimate walk
through this seemingly ordinary part
of my life but if you look closely
this moment will reveal something
delightfully specific and illuminating
to what makes
me
me
and I want to share
that with you because quite frankly I just like
your company and even in the silence
(sometimes especially in the silence)
it makes me feel somewhere between warm
and content to have you here beside me

(From The Errand Friend Date)

Hostage

The days are fine until they’re not. Bad days
go like this: I wake at three in the morning,
and have coffee, read the news, work out
in the garage. I’d rather sleep in, but
this is the only time I have alone.

He wakes and showers around eight. By then
I’ve been working for hours at a standing
desk I’ve fashioned out of a TV tray
and a dresser. He attends meetings
at the dining room table. At three,

he pours his first drink. He cooks dinner,
we eat. I do the dishes while he watches
TV and drinks in his recliner. We
engage in light conversation, nothing
serious. After seven he gets angry.

Out of nowhere. He starts to yell. He slurs
and shuffles around the kitchen, laying
out his grievances. He bangs pots and pans
around. He is very drunk now. The dog
gets scared and scratches on my bedroom door.

He’ll throw something across the kitchen,
if he hits me, I’m gone, Covid be damned.
I retreat to the bedroom with the dog,
eyes wide, mouth shut. Waiting for him to wear
himself out, to pass out in the basement.

(From The Social Distance Project on Instagram)

Ode to Odd

Of the second international workshop
on nude mice. People who don’t know they’re dead.
Weeds in a changing world – British crop
protection council. Start with your legs.

How to avoid huge ships. Bombproof your horse.
Developments in dairy cow breeding.
How to shit in the woods. Too naked for
the Nazis. Versailles – the view from Sweden.

The joy of sex – pocket edition. World
outlook for containers of fromage frais.
How to poo on a date. Reusing old
graves. Dental practice – the Genghis Khan way.

Introducing the Medieval ass.
A dog pissing at the edge of a path.

(Winners of the Booksellers/Diagram prize for the oddest title of the year)

We are as gods

He has coaxed his skin to produce
a fluorescent protein, ingested
a friend’s poop in a D.I.Y.
fecal-matter transplant, and attempted
to deactivate one of his genes
so that he could grow bigger muscles.

Inside the box, I found an assortment
of lab tools—pipette tips, petri dishes,
disposable gloves—as well as several
vials containing E. coli and all I’d need
to rearrange its genome.

Ants that can’t smell, beagles that put on
superhero-like brawn, pigs that resist
swine fever, macaques that suffer from sleep
disorders, coffee beans that contain no
caffeine, salmon that don’t lay eggs, mice that
don’t get fat, and bacteria whose genes contain,
in code, Eadweard Muybridge’s famous series
of photographs showing a horse in motion.

We are as gods, but we have failed to get good at it. 
We are Loki, killing the beautiful for fun. 
We are Saturn, devouring our children.

(From Crispr and the splice to survive)

Sixfeet

In training I disembowel
every time I use my reason
and I love it, you without a reason.
Am I law enough?
Or am I glad you’re gay?

Nine times, you never made it out of sight.
I walked them both the other way
I cannot stand another day
We droned down on each other
ax-tails tolled.

Blow away
to the hunger merchants,
but now I’m punched in the face
I can’t stand another day.

(AI song generated from all Billie Eilish lyrics)