let us not bruise a single onion. or throw away a single bite of peach. if you have a home, open it. take in vegetables and homeless youth. patch the places where their mother ripped hair from their scalp. tuck carrot peels back into earth, the onion skin like skin of hand.
take in this muddy river. banks rise up tree bottoms, then freeze and snow again. take it in your mouth, the headline: Boy, 15, Charged With Murder. as you are charged with water, charged to clean the muddy footprints on the stairs. not the murder, but the fracture it covers. make home big enough to fit all of this and vegetables and meat. kids whose lipprints you must clean from glasses, who thunder up and down the stairs. who must be made dinner and spoken to with a unfractured voice.
take the glove that got left in the river. your own sadness, snap it open in the basement in the yellow lights. the table littered with feathers, bones. feet shuffle upstairs, stomp, then rest. your work laid out before you, and almost enough time.
Printed with permission from Megan Alpert, copyrighted by Megan Alpert @ 2012. This piece originally appeared in Issue No. 12 of the Los Angeles Review.