After the last storm passes,
I find on the deck chair a baby
bell pepper felled by the wind.
It’s shaped like a heart: small
as maybe the heart of a chicken
or something that tried to grow
but stopped short at the limits
set by a body. A friend jokes:
Sell it on eBay— where a price
can be put on a piece of cheese toast
freckled with the silhouette of the Virgin
Mary, or a guinea pig’s miniature suit
of armor and helmet? In 2000, eight people
placed bids for the meaning of life
that a seller claimed to have discovered.
Inside this waxy hollow, how much
would we pay for that kind of promise
inscribed on each of its seeds? Across
the water, another storm spreads
its widest skirts. We look at each other
and wonder how much we could gather
into just one small suitcase each.