Bitter Fruit: A Poem

by Stephanie Latty

Eating fruit from the tree
of anxiety that has taken root,
laden in my belly,
is easy.

You know. It’s that
sweet honey nectar
spilling from the corners of my mouth,
rolling down my chin in slow, sticky rivulets,
licking it ticklish off my fingertips,
kind of easy.

I tell myself I should be writing
but instead, I write myself
out of every poem and every script
and every story ever created.

I eat from the tree and disappear,
wondering why people I’ve met
a thousand times in a thousand lives
can’t seem to remember my name.
I sometimes wonder if the ancestors can remember my name.

Roots burrowed deep in my spine
and curled heavy around my ribs.
Eating that sweet fruit feels like coming home.
A saccharine embrace.

I eat from the tree and become a shadow,
scribbling my face out of pictures,
and leaving only the faintest trace of myself
in the paintings.

I tell myself I should be dancing,
but instead I move invisible in the choreography,
growing and shrinking in the light,
fading out like a photograph left in the sun.
There but never quite…there.

I tell myself I should be speaking,
but instead, my voice eats me alive.
I wonder why I have a sickle for a tongue,
and I can’t remember if I was ever really here.
You will have trouble remembering if I was ever really here.

Stephanie Latty is an emerging poet, scholar and activist. She is a doctoral student in Social Justice Education and enjoys decent wine, warm blankets and lunar eclipses. You can follow her on Twitter @StephGriot.