Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Thomas Sayers Ellis: Godzilla’s Avocado

 Tonight, Prophet
 is helping Noni make
 “creatures,” the term 
 

    she “cooked up” for mussels. 
    I am “Noni,” her 
    fake baby daddy,
 

 the one she got 
 her style from, not her 
 “soft and buttery”
 

    bottom lip, that came 
    from Mommy. Nonies see things differently.
    Waffles, brown skin.
 

 Lady Liberty making us all healthy
 holding up her green
 flame of asparagus.
 

    Prophet’s a bean eater,
    a yummy Kingpin critter.
    Run, edamame, run,
 

 the same sun 
 that rises in orange juice
 sets in mac and cheese.
 

    From a lumpy russet, swirling 
    in a cosmos of miso,
    colors mash into casserole.
 

 Kids love kitchens, the sushi chef 
 re-ending monsters
 with embassy-precision.
 

    Life’s raw rolls, ready
    to unravel the difficult answers 
    we wrap in seaweed.
 

 “Love is when two people
 like the same food 
 and the same toys,
 

    but war is when lots of people
    dress up like salads 
    and eat each other.”
 

 Messy imagination.
 All meals need metaphors.
 Poems, cutting boards.
 

    An artichoke’s heart does not pump ketchup. 
    It pumps pesto,
    oily, olive clots of guacamole.
 

 Prophet is learning 
 to grow things, including time,
 real time, some sense
 

    of the vitamins of radiance.
    The seedling on 
    the window sill, slow to trust sun.
 

 Kids love nature, things smaller than them,
 like mushrooms, 
 cooked into clouds.
 

    Radiation.
    Fooling time, rushing food,
    hurts the body.
 
 Pesticides are a big deal, poor bees.
 The microwaves
    hives fear.
 Our silver age of dining.
 

Copyright 2019 Thomas Sayers Ellis. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

Poet, Photographer, Professor, Thomas Sayers Ellis is the bandleader and a co-founding member of Heroes Are Gang Leaders. He is the author of “The Maverick Room,” “Skin, Inc. Identity Repair Poems (Graywolf Press 2005 / 2010)” and “The Corny Toys,” a chapbook length poem. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Best American Poetry, The Nation, Tin House as well as numerous anthologies. He has taught at numerous Universities and is the recipient of a Mrs. Giles Whiting Writers Award and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry in 2015.

Sun Worship Series / Florida, 2019 (photo by Thomas Sayers Ellis

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