The avocado was unyielding, and the banana’s backbone
bristled with brawn against my knife-blade that evening.
I was hungry and ate them
in spite of their yelling green rebellion.
Little else littered the lifeless shelves.
Next morning, breakfast was leftovers.
My father sipped on wrung-necked grapes
upstairs while Mama unloaded imperishable mysteries
from paper boxes onto freshly
pest-poisoned shelves in an alien home. (The whole place smelling
like natural gas and pest-killing gas, door
to back door sliding.) I bagged her some berries
and stuffed six apples in my backpack and drove over.
Even in the small rooms she looked small.
We talked toward the kitchen
on the virtues of living on little,
walking on the edge of starvation,
the sleepless exhilaration of last-day-like living
and bare-boned, bled-and-replenishing love.
I started peeling an orange (no trash can, just a bag
for the fragrant rinds) and nodding my head.