By Adam Tamashasky
Poetry doesn’t have to be about much.
My students don’t believe me,
or they’re too bored to believe,
so I’m telling them about bananas
and how one day they’ll be in a store
and see some perfect in their hypnotic yellow,
lounging on the green display plastic, yellow fingers
of a yellow hand curling, palms up, towards them,
and they’ll think, “Wow, those are beautiful bananas.”
That’s not the poetry yet, I tell them—the poetry comes
when you wonder, When in the hell did I become this person,
this man in a Giant judging bananas?
You’ll trace the moment to the minute your first child arrived
and you began seeing the world
as deadly and benign,
as poison and fuel,
as pathways to grief and pathways to tenuous, leveraged joy.
Those bananas want me to want my children to eat them,
and in the calling between fruit and father,
we’ll find what we’re after.
Adam’s work has appeared in the Delmarva Review, The Cold Mountain Review, the Innisfree Poetry Journal, and most recently in the international anthology Singing in the Dark: A Global Anthology of Poetry Under Lockdown, published by Penguin. He teaches writing at American University in Washington, D.C. You can read more of his work at adamtamashasky.com.