by Rita Maria Martinez
I watch as you dip the knife
in the tub of Country Crock and slather
the cob, witness the methodical dismemberment,
how you eat one kernel, one row at a time,
from left to right like a typewriter.
The plate before you an immaculate kingdom,
mine littered with fallen kernels,
autumn’s escapees exiled from sudden death.
I bite into my cob carelessly, juice streaming
down the sides of my mouth and feel reckless
and in love with the world for now,
the way you must’ve felt as a boy
when converting Jeffrey’s sandlot
to a mud pit, when you kneeled, haphazardly
scooped piles of mud with an army
of Tonka trucks, your legs and hands
coated with the dark richness, a pleasure
so sweet and transient because Jeff’s mom
hosed you down, the sound of water
spiraling from the spigot prayerful
in the afternoon heat, nothing to show
for your toil but sopping calves and shins,
hands and fingernails clean, yet anticipating
the evening’s battle when you’d reign
victorious over shredded husks on your plate,
your hands anointed with butter.
Rita Maria Martinez loves all things Jane Eyre. Published by Aldrich Press, Martinez’s first full-length poetry collection, The Jane and Bertha in Me, celebrates Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel—as well as the bicentenary of Brontë’s birth. Martinez’s poetry also appears in the textbook Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction / Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama; and in the anthology Burnt Sugar, Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish. Martinez has been a featured author at the Miami Book Fair in Florida; at the Palabra Pura reading series in Chicago; and at the Poetry at the Dali series in St. Petersburg, Florida. Martinez is a guest contributor for the Poets & Artists blog. Visit her website here.