The Pear

It’s the consistency of flesh that drives us,
how a pome ascends the stairs
of its origin. A boy shakes

pears down off the higher branches
as his friends scavenge underneath,
groping for the thing necks.

If you find yourself holding one,
hungry, if that’s the word,
then you are testament

to what festers in its fattened lobe
like a ball of sugar bees.
Here is Augustine, his thin

fingers tearing into skin
that barely holds the pulp
around its core. Poised nudes

forever in their sunny chairs,
they await whatever plucking 
comes. When they’re eaten

with darkness plunging
always further into their hearts,
a few seeds ache then swell black

as appetite. Or as their profile
imitates a lover’s falling
breasts, we take them in

as we do our own bodies,
as infants do, wanting anything
to give our wanting form.

Poem from Consolation Miracle, reprinted with permission of Southern Illinois University Press