There’s enough to feed him, but he eschews the ethereal cheese, the froth of cream, the last dear course of the evening. He’d rather suck on bones, nibble leaves like a worm. A cow makes milk for a reason, I tell him, my butter melting into warm bread. My flesh is cake spread with icing skin. His is diluted, unforbidden fruit—mealy where it should be sweet.
My back grows darker than my front—forever bent over weeds, the damp plants lambent and lazy against my yanking, the petaliferous haze. My days of stained hands, soiled knees, trowel stabbing around the roots, dislodging. Of course I’m contrary— to the bells dripping with jeweled dew, the queue of little maids waiting to be picked, to be arranged in a still life, the vase choked with stems.
It’s true he couldn’t keep me— I was always going bad— soft around a bruise, a creeping taint somewhere inside. A pumpkin can’t help its hollowness, its cold body rattling with seeds. A year stores months of pumpkins, and from where I sit, I can see years, bulging before me, tendriled
together, luminescent as warnings. He plunged the knife in, scooped out the nervous sinews. I suppose any home can be a radiant shell.