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Witbeck
Wynn
The daughter of the farmer is up to her ankles
in husk and rind. In the dark she teaches her hands
to unpluck the grove, to weave stem and tree,
to empty her wicker bowl of jackfruit seeds.
Tonight, against the baldness of branches,
she imagines a harvest of snow, the taste
of mint between her lip and gum.
She peels her father’s rambutans, one by one.
The American says cherry-plum as she feeds him.
Her fingers in his mouth. She teaches him how the tongue
must push the pit, like a secret, past the teeth.
you will die. Here are your warning signs:
-Turning to points of light. Heat lamps, the CVS, the catnip laser,
mouse, Venus.
-Upon pressing the top of your eye to protrude it from the socket,
you cease to see color: the skobeloff of your sister’s sweater,
the ecru of your dresser, the exact hue of your five-year-old
parking space.
-You lose wisdom. Likewise, you eat.
-Seeing past people you no longer want to see: your old
hairdresser, your sixth cousin and her third child, the man that
lives on 4th and Washington.
-Not salivating, no longer hearing your inner ear,
continuous hiccupping, unexpected alertness, restlessness, a
shrunken tongue.
-Breathing cold air, ice air, that embitter your hands. Your hands
don’t listen, instead halve your apples horizontally, redial
nine-year-old missed calls, clench at night.
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