the first thing you do
is scoop bare hands
into humid soil
and carve out bed 
for each hairless seedling-

two rows of spinach, hot peppers, sweet basil, cherry tomatoes

-you cradle pod in palm of left hand
as your right digs deeper,
finger nails chipping
on rock and dried earth,
you draw up fist
after fist
of uprooted weed,
until thin lines of blood
bead up in creases
between thumb,

you push sweat away 
from eyes 
with forearm,
rub cheeks with
sun burning shoulder,

you detach shirt
from sticky stomach, 
letting lukewarm air
rush over bra-less chest-

until everything
has been tucked into
waiting ground


and later, as pink buds begin
growing along wrists
and inner thighs,
up cheekbone and
peeling shoulder,

you watch as 
man turns garden to graveyard

he says-
to get rid of it, he’ll have to kill everything

he says,
you’re lucky it wasn’t worse