• Fearsome Critters

Pazarlık — Alaz Ada

I live in negotiation,

every sentence worth its weight in silver,

a price I must pay.

How much does breaking the seed of an apricot cost?

Ten years and an afternoon in a park. The park, we don’t know, but each other, we do.

What do I get? The smell of cyanide and the bitterness I chose to expose. I squandered my lifetime

credit for warm greetings in one breath.

How much does burying the seed cost? Burying it in my own earth is free, but that is years into

the future. I am not nurturing enough yet: my soil is nervous and prone to earthquakes and droughts.

I have not expanded and softened from the rigidity of my once-selves.

Burying it into your earth cost me the skin on my fingers, digging into your pale frost, your emerald.

My eyes ate some strange fear. I kept the years in my sewing box.

How much does swallowing an apricot seed cost?

My throat. But I keep my skin and my eyes. I forget how to speak and the seed is lodged where

nobody can reach. The seed cracks and expands and so do I, with every breath in and out. Peace

grows in me, making my chest tender and aching, an even later adolescence.

Years pass before I become

an apricot tree.

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