Ethylene by Ellie Botoman

Ethylene
by Ellie Botoman

After “Visits to St. Elizabeth’s” by Elizabeth Bishop

These are the strawberries

These are the strawberries
That we forgot about

These are our specimens
Or toddlers
Sprouting their hairy tufts

These are our science experiments
I knew you would call me gruesome
For naming them as such
Why I meant to tell you, but never did  

These,
With their little bellies
Swollen until bursting,
Remind me of the robin I found
Asleep near the sewer drain

This, more bacterial smear than animal,
Had been volleyed
From the clover fields
To the shred of tire
To the humid sky

These organs spilling out of its slack mouth
Lunar bone protrusions
Punctured meat inflatable the wrong shade of red
Like the strawberries between the leftovers, the lemons
The triple-washed spinach, the milk teetering on rotten.

This is our ecosystem of low hum and fluid refrigerant
This is our infected flock fenced in porous plastic.
I think this might just be the last honeymoon suite in America.

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