splitting 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.