A BRIGHT GREEN VINE
she has found the extra button
on the inside of one sleeve
of her blouse. she traces its edge
with her finger and I picture
her brain making the same
delightful ding of a typewriter
being reset at the end of one line:
she says she doesn’t mind selling
her soul in a world where
spares are so easy to come by.
we are sitting in the parking lot
of the bakery on main street
and we are hungry, so hungry
all we have planned for the
rest of the day is talking about food.
I am wondering if paper is more
nutritious than I know
and whether or not I could eat
a book slowly until payday.
I tell her the library has a dictionary
that might keep us alive for weeks.
she says she’d rather steal
and if she steals she says I better
steal too. I don’t know why.
are you kidding? she asks.
any judge might understand why
a rational person might be driven
to steal food, but not if they’re caught
with a person eating a book.
well, I say, changing the subject,
this would all be easier if adam
and eve hadn’t fucked up the garden
of eden. we could be feasting on
tangerines and roast chicken right now
stark naked and happy as clams.
it’s the way God intended it, I say.
she says she knows and asks
if I have any idea how much larger
the church was that one year
when the germans claimed
the body of Christ actually came
in the form of a gingersnap
and I can hear the dry soil inside
her stomach turning as
a bright green vine begins to grow.