Essay on Growing Things

Afternoon drips into evening and still 
the heat's a nonstop haze. But you remain
outside, training a hose among what greenery

struggles to make it past this stage of life.
Clusters of psylla swarm the undersides
of persimmon leaves—Discoloration.

Edges that curl in the general direction 
of blight. For fruit to have a chance
at fruiting, you've vowed this

constant attention. Growth was never
easy for anyone to negotiate. How 
is it any different among the flora

and fauna? Ichor alternating with scab,
or: the body learns to bear its scars.
Job should give a Ted Talk on that.

Kept bottled, though, agonies 
never have a chance to transform 
into something else without a bitter 

top note, an undercurrent of 
resentment. Launched without 
warning, they give off a burnt

gunpowder smell, or set
a vein into anxious flutter. Maybe
it won't be so bad. No one's expert

at life, though everyone wants
to be seen and loved, made to feel
they matter. Older or younger makes

no difference— Picture the heart
palpitating like an uncertain engine,
while fingering its worry beads. 

Quantify the time spent pickling 
in various anxieties, multiplied by 
minutes of self-inflicted 

lowballing. Rain couldn't compete 
with that much damp. Still, there's
bound to be some levity when least

expected; some respite, a squint
of light behind a door leading  
finally to Arrivals. Think of how

tadpoles transform into tiny
frogs: at first, oily blurs in water.
Until one day, 14 weeks later,

the tails shrink and the front 
and back legs pop right out.
Voila! Whether or not they're

ready, the clock strikes the hour. 
Xylems, cells, the complete mechanism 
of inward and outward— You put

the rest of it to faith that they'll find
their way. Zoning in one day, they'll see
(you hope) what they were meant to be. 

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