harvest time

that year the fields burst with one limb.
the sky bled purple all through summer 
by the time the dirt was ready,
ripened to a deep eggplant october.
we were never sure what would grow. 
i remember being small & one year 
we culivated acres of squash the shape
of goose necks. in another memory 
my father hauls grape fruit in a basket
from the yard. it is always a comprise.
you cannot get exactly what you want
from a field. crops are a combination
of the will of god & alchemy.
we had scattered juju bees in the soil
hoping for fruit. my mother pinned
a picture of an apple tree to the door.
she bought a pie dish. my father craved lemons.
he painted the bright yellow fruit 
on the walls of the living room.
it was my fault then i think. i asked 
for softness no fruit could manage
imagining myself kissing boys 
just like me. running with them through
the barren field in winter. snow in their hair.
boys like me. short boys with plum-small hands.
& so hands rose from the dirt. first just 
fingertips. the whole family went out
to inspect them to be sure we'd seen right.
yes, fingers. july deepended & hands rose
to the middle of the palm. alone,
i caressed them. the hands never moved
but they were warm. then, by october,
whole arms reaching for a corner of sun.
i laid down in the hands & let them graze
my skin. my whole family knew then 
what i wanted. i could not face them.
this field of my longing. how has desire
emerged so alive? held a fresh hand 
& kissed its back before slipping inside.
waiting for the year to close
& the field to once again by nothing
but a possibility. after the arms though
i knew the field listened more closely
than i'd thought before. there was then maybe
no delightful randomness but rather
a knowing. the earth hearing our bodies
& responding with whatever kind of growth
it could muster. was the field a mirror 
or a response? i saved a hand from that year.
it sleeps in a shoe box in the back of the closet.
withers to bone.

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