Early Cascade

By Lucia Perillo Lucia Perillo
I couldn't have waited. By the time you return
it would have rotted on the vine.
So I cut the first tomato into eighths,
salted the pieces in the dusk
and found the flesh not mealy (like last year's)
or bitter,
even when I swallowed the green crown of the stem
that made my throat feel dusty and warm.

Pah. I could have gagged on the sweetness.
The miser accused by her red sums.
Better had I eaten the dirt itself
on this the first night in my life
when I have not been too busy for my loneliness—
at last, it comes.

Source: Poetry (October 2006).

 Lucia  Perillo

Biography

Lucia Perillo is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Dangerous Life (1989), which won the Norma Farber Award from the Poetry Society of America; The Body Mutinies (1996), winner of the Kate Tufts prize from Claremont University; The Oldest Map with the Name America (1999); Luck is Luck (2005), which was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and won the Kingsley Tufts prize from Claremont University; . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Activities, Gardening, Eating & Drinking

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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