The eggplant belongs to the family
of nightshades— in botany books, 

the asterid group (my first thought
was of stars, clustered on dark

velvet drapes). Don't eat 
its pastes and stews, they warned—
the months when I bore daughters 
in my womb, for fear their skin 

might color with the hue 
of things blue-festered in 

the damp, beneath the garden's 
plots. O moody globes and 

lengthened spines, are you 
the reason we swoon and sigh,

our hearts constricting with  
the first and other poisonings? 

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