Spraying For Aphids
The leaves are ugly,
the stems weak, sagging like a tubercular outcast waiting for her next beating.
And "love apples"?
Poets are dreamy defectives who should be drowned like cats at the earliest convenience.
I kill aphids because they are so smug.
They crawl around on their stupid stalks,
fat with sap,
experts on everything except what is that big brick thing with the patio,
what are seasons?
and what garden, what planet?
Aphids have never felt any ache and rush
at the sight of you, undressing.
They do not run into traffic like some inevitable idiot,
talking nonsense to the gorgeous grille that will kill them.
They do not bury their dogs or their children.
No aphid feels unable to contain the moment's misery,
and they don't--wise vermin--hope next time will be different.
And so, stupidly unwilling to bring myself to burn
these pictures from a shoebox kept like guilty dope in a drawer,
I spray for aphids instead.
I watch them fall, from the noxious cloud,
never having felt or thought about anything at all.
The same heart-drop that wrecked me
at certain suitcases and closing doors overtakes me now as the aphids die.
I realize I haven't changed them,
just stopped their motion.
There will be so many mocking Beefsteaks and Early Girls to give away,
as if they held all my mistakes and desires in their dumb meaty red hearts.
I will clutch the arms of near strangers, piping
"Take one! Take them all!"
A pathetic madwoman for whom "no" has become an expectation, a way of life, a savagery,
like the gardening so many of us take up.
for Sunday Muse where Chrissa presides, faithful dog at her side.