1573 c/o Rebecca Perry

Seated Figure of Summer

I know there is only one way it can go
from here, my sitting spot in the shade
with my back to the sinking sun –

these half peach cheeks will shrink and fall
and my brow of grapes will wrinkle to raisins
for the little birds to peck at in twos and threes.

My parsnip fingers, all heavy and wet
will not be able to pinch their wings
and return them to their branches.

This torso of apples and figs will sink back
and blacken like the opening of a cave –
all my colours gone.

Ants will march into me and carry off
the stalks and pips for a new home, elsewhere,
and I will hollow, hollow, hollow.

My corn cob arms and legs will loosen
and fall away like rotten teeth -
the yellow to brown and all my colours gone.

The pears of my heels will soften with each step.
Small brown patches of mush will give way
and I will fall, here or there,

all my colours gone,
with none of a melting snowman’s grace
and some ridiculous final thought.