We can’t believe our luck:
to have found this
pair of pears on the ground
in the grass, in the abandoned
orchard late in the year, spared
as if by fate, unmarred and,
we tell ourselves, ours.

Furtively, we seize them,
glancing sidelong like thieves,
rubbing them against our shirts,
our palms, inhaling the faint
perfume of their ripeness before
biting in—like savages, we imagine,
though imagining makes us not,
makes us the self-conscious creatures
we are, knowing full-well
we have done nothing to earn this,
do not deserve it, but that
the pleasure we take makes us
worthy of taking, our happiness
a form of gratitude, refusing grace
a blasphemy more grave than greed.

Left alone, they would go to waste.
Kept for later they would bruise and rot.
Now is the only time for joy. Here
the only place. And you, My Love,
are the only one—so let us eat, and praise,
and walk among these gnarled trees
before we lie beneath them.


From Notwithstanding, (Wet Cement Press, 2019). Posted by kind permission of Wet Cement Press.