The Compost Reader
You are a person of contradiction. Observe the pomegranate, the way
each seed has been extracted. Of course, the presence of pomegranate
denotes patience, passion, self-indulgence. But see how the seeds are
not so much scooped as torn from their rough and broken cavities.
And the dark coffee grounds still in the unbleached filter: obviously
you miss your best friend from fourth grade, the one with lavender
tissues in her shiny purse. Hmmmm, eggshells. Not tucked into each
other like passengers on a train, but scattered far from their mates.
Here, a pile of moth-webbed cornmeal, hot pepper seeds, potato eyes,
beet roots. Quick to anger. And these red-soaked slices of orange,
spiked by cloves? Dinner party. You’re afraid of the dark. Look at the
layers of leaves–they were not raked in fall, but scooped out from
under snow to cover eleven baby roses and the charred skin of a
butternut squash. It’s not so much that you miss your friend and her
rhinestone barrettes, her sisters with J-names. You wanted to be her.
Karen Schubert’s most recent chapbooks are Black Sand Beach (Kattywompus Press, forthcoming) and I Left My Wings on a Chair (Kent State Press, 2014), selected by Kathleen Flenniken for the Wick Poetry Center prize. Her work appears or is forthcoming in PoetsArtists, The Louisville Review, American Literary Review, Best American Poetry Blog, and diode poetry journal. She was a 2013 writer-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts and her poem “Autobiography” was selected by Tony Hoagland for the first annual William Dickey Memorial Broadside Contest. She is a founding member of Lit Youngstown, a new literary arts organization in Youngstown, Ohio
Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Booth, The Emerson Review, Harpur Palate, Moon City Review, Stirring, and Whiskey Island, among others. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.