at the hardware store
we purchase seeds. squash
& sunflowers & watermelon.
talk to the seeds like infants.
"they have our eyes &
our urges." hold them in our palms
then lay them on the kitchen table.
we have no dirt except inside
our own skulls. i remember
opening my mouth for you
to shovel the top soil in.
then, i did the same. you laughed.
wiped a smudge from your chin.
what are we willing to give up?
the apartment gets an inch smaller
every day. the houseplants die by jumping
from the window. my father is a planter.
he will put a seed anywhere
there is a tongue to catch it.
once i caught him slipping pumpkin seeds
into the floor boards of the childhood house.
he put a finger to his lips & said,
"hush, i'm working." the next day
the living room was split
in all kinds of slivers. vines grew.
burst wood & windows. he said,
"look at this mess you made"
talking to the pumpkin. weeks later
the plant died. we carried away the rot
as a family. i put the seed on my tongue
& press it down. let the soil fill in
behind to cover its path.
what journey's into deep have you taken?
i picture my skull like
the living room. my father with
an ice cube laden glass. his knuckles.
his fingers. all my first fragments.
the gourd bursting: vestigial self.
growth is also the destruction
of a before landscape. oh how
i loved that room even with
its darknesses. the bruises.
the speckled carpet. you ask me
"will it hurt?" i lie to you.
i say, "it's something you get used to."
the seeds hum inside our heads
all weekend but never open.
eventually die out. we caught up
the shells months apart.
i say nothing about the living room.
you buy new house plants.