The plant bent; the stems given up
on what was too much to hold.
split and let to rot.
The earth stained by them–
a shadow running, spilling
a darkening settling, biting in.
Ants, too, to pick and crawl
blind, white worms
to braille through and through
the waste, the squander,
the generous fruit of them.
A heel comes,
worn, manured but still
thick with time along its grimy gum,
crushes, another and another one
with cruel resentment of their fall.
upon the city streets,
lost, discarded, where the light has turned.
Left on the wool-scrubbed bus and subway seats.
Scattered, lost, hearts upon a bar top,
streaked with lemon, anchovy, nut shells and old perfume,
to be brushed away, sponged at closing,
readying the zinc and long-wood’s shine,
for sorrow’s crop to come.
Love and luck, such slender vines,
so much, so much like tomatoes,
sometimes, too full for anyone.