beside the lace-worn casings of tomatillos,
the compost stalks a newly found onion.
the larvae of the worm exhumed from so many
uneaten potatoes from the soil.
I clear out the blossoms of mold. beneath the skin
a bulb. return it to the earth. Know nothing
of how to maintain these lives: soil and water,
earthworms eat food scraps and gnats lay their eggs.
to list mere observations.
need not need to turn to a video
or flip through rituals on urban farming.
but to just sit with that small fraction of life
and do what the mayflies and onions know
—nothing—but intuit when and how to grow.
This time, the miracle was a tortilla burn
revealing the Bird Man of Cahokia.
I called Francis from this catholic city
and said, "Jorge, I forgot the poem
where Avila pierces her heart with Cupid's arrow
and cums on the stump of the tree of Jesse."
"You never get to see the virgin anymore, Compa.
Call her sometime." Our feet are always
in the water, Bird Man's and mine. Shallow
is the bank of the Mississippi where the vagabond
tent settles behind us. He won't talk. We cut the rinds
from the avocados and let the current sail them.
Christopher Alex Chablé earned his MFA from the University of Missouri, and his work has been most recently published in San Pedro River Review and Sunset Liminal. In addition to writing, he is member of the Yeyo Arts Collective, which is dedicated to empowering women and families through the arts.