Barrels of Fruit

Barrels of Fruit

Barrels of Fruit 1920 1280 Caroline Plasket

At the grocery store, labels
indicating their country of origin. This part is the joy;
a celebration where the children
put the confetti into the cart.

Rows and rows of items and long lines
of how are you todays and vague
answers that feel like they just got off the boat

of bananas from Ecuador. How do you
say I feel like a dragonfruit
from Israel
, without
getting an answer of regret
from the rote questions we ask
strangers.

I think of the way
a banana demands       softly. It has come
all of that way

just to be taken for granted.

No one has counted the boats that never
made it. The fruit, it only wants
to bite the inside of a mouth. To call forth
the warm rush of saliva.

Do all fruits sink? Is there an account
of the green, waiting produce that was
turned away? We have too many
the man at the dock says to a thousand
pounds, and the sea-tired navigators ready
themselves for the smell
of a thousand pounds of overripe

sweetness that they will dump into the sea when they get far
enough away. A thousand pounds they now deem not
worth the gas they have
to get back.

Header photograph © S. Schirl Smith.

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