From the Trees Full of Birdsong Comes Unripe Fruit

Waorani Legend (With Appropriation)

My Gardener

Of a Fixed Nature

Two boys pull green oranges from the tree
that hangs over the churchyard fence. They

throw them into the street with such auto-
matic skill that they may be the same boys

sent to kill in any war that will never be theirs […]

ednos

Not Yet Five / Mother

With Cleopatra eyes and Sadé skin her words sting clear as Noxema lather:
“Mom, I’m not pretty,” she confesses. “What?” I accuse—“What do you mean,”
I spit and sputter, my mind scrambling to organize an understanding
of this violence she commits against herself […]

Post-Partum Jenga

I almost see myself trip and shatter
us both on the stairs. I almost see
my arms slip and tumble you over
the balcony to crack on the sidewalk
below […]