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Early Cascade

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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)

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This poem originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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Early Cascade

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