Green cooled
to contain the surface

leaves bending
fringe to verge

as if it were fruit
and not a ribbon

strung between
the mind and its rest

a bulb split to reveal
pale meat

by abundance
it grows or does not

contracts blight, shares it
with the others or does not

trained on a ladder
obedient and productive

while in the coffee shop
retirees sip lattes

mothers are teaching
their children to speak

vines crowd the sidewalk
nothing tender is spared.

Lia Mastropolo is a Philadelphia-based poet and nonfiction writer. Her work has appeared in decomP, ConfrontationBerkeley Poetry Review, Apiary, and others.