How to Kick Plants

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September 14, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Tom Emanny


You need the right shoes.
Avoid nylon space boots and leather.
Cotton and canvas are best,
fabrics that accept sap stains and burrs,
and will carry them like scars
for at least a few months,
fresh that first late weeknight in a nameless sports bar
with the curious black kid composing music in an undershirt
and the barkeep who thinks about new jokes when he goes home,
later dried, stale, persistent.

You need the right plants.
Take a long walk instead of heading home.
Look down at your feet;
get them ready, like spearing bulls.
Look also to the sides, at medians and gardens.
The plants you seek are fibrous and succulent,
offering some resistance, but not too much.
The best will have large ripe seedpods, adding

In fact, you don’t need to find out on the bus that she started seeing someone else.

And you can wait for them to pass,
the would-be audience of hooded youth
furtively scaling things no one cares if they enter.

Now, kick! Now see
what a beautiful thing is happening,
see those waiting seeds
explode into the streetlight air.


Tom Emanny currently lives and studies in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work has previously appeared in The Houston Literary Review.

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