I Woke Up Like This. . .
This morning I woke up like a fruit, an apple, to be specific, golden growing in some northwest orchard’s corner, southwest region of a back-east state, back home.
Or maybe a lemon, a wild lemon, greening, then yellowing, then softening, burgeoning with juice, hanging heavy on its skinny limb.
Can I say I woke up a pomegranate, crimson and hidden, a little bit sacred, scarcely mythic? A little bit forgotten, though. And seasonal. And hard to get at.
I’ve never tasted star fruit but like a star fruit is how I woke up, giddy as a burst, old as my name, foolish in pursuit of everybody putting me in the center of their bowl. I am a cornucopia of one, a feast for a fruit-starved lion. I woke up a bundle of yum, a compote without a dish. I tied myself in a hankie and dangled myself from an old rucksack stick and went out walking in search of something potable to wash myself down or perhaps a crust to fold myself into.
I woke up a bakery, a coffee house, a Czech kavárna, a Parisian pâtisserie, but I was missing yeast to rise, milk to soften the bitter. I called on fools and mermaids to join me for a bracing morning swim.
They asked first if they could eat me. Some of me? A bite? I looked so tasty, they were hungry, the fast was breaking. I said yes, because I’d already woken up broken, bitten, drizzled on the lips of thirsty travelers. I woke up dreaming.
What I mean by that is, I woke up tasting like the world was growing right outside my window and I could pluck it. Remembering the smell of the spice cake I baked yesterday, into my skin went the cinnamon, the pumpkin and the applesauce. I woke up an entire field with the lift of the blinds to the lift of the sun, just as the birds woke up to me.
I had never before heard their melodies, or breathed such a chorus of glad excitement. I woke up soldiers and their loyal dogs. I woke up a lover, I rose a warrior, I got out of bed an artist and a hoax. I woke up a whirligig, a jellyfish, a woman on a high wire. What’s missing
is how I go to bed, shoving my crooked disruptions, lumps under the mattress, stains on the sheets. I know I get lost as the day goes on. I encounter mountain climbers, I climb mountainous counter points, I point out, perhaps, too many what-I-meant-by-that’s. To be specific.
I have all this fruit I wake up with. My arms tire of carrying my vagabond loads. My nails shred from picking out seeds.
Come nighttime I bury them at the center and pray for propagation. As I sleep I wait to see how new and deliciously tomorrow I will wake.