Each yellow cherry tomato is a surprise. I planted this garden in the spring. Remember how I was rootless, lost in the work. That I woke one Saturday morning, the house quiet and humming with loneliness. I put those seeds - too many seeds because I was hedging my bets - into the dry earth and watered them every day. Weeks later I recognize something there. Tiny, green, sleek. Hope. And now I hold hope in my hand, put them into my mouth like candy and swallow. It turns out that solitude is an acquired taste but as sweet as a tiny golden tomato now that I have learned to savor it.
One can hold a thing up to the sun and squint,
turn it over in hands crooked like claws,
willing it to be a mushroom,
a silver dollar, the soft pale petals of flowers.
Wish it into being anything but the ugly truth
that whispers inside your head.
That doesn’t make it true.
The truth digs deep like an antiseptic,
worms its way deep down into your bones.
It is the body of the tiniest bird beating in your chest,
feathers crumpled and laced with dust.
You know you should cup your hands around it and stroke,
calm it with patience and love,
but what you really want to do is squeeze.
Stop the movement.
And what do I know of truth anyway?
The truth is that there is no explanation
and there are a thousand reasons.
The freckles. The fidgeting.
The talking, talking, and still the talking.
What did she want?
I used to know and now I can’t remember.
fourteen years is a long time and my memory has always been poor,
is poorer still without her.
She wanted love. She wanted peace.
She wanted to be like me.