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April 2019 Vol. 15 No. 1

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Jonathan Humphrey

Elegy For The Thud In An Orchard

It has been brought to my attention that some years ago, in the universe next to our own, an artist very similar to Van Gogh cut off his nose and devoted his remaining years to the painting of fruit trees sagging with rotten fruit. So life-like, in fact, were these renderings, that all manner and matter of pests were drawn to each canvas. A smell would have been on the wind. I picture an undulating wave of possum-esque pelts crashing over pipe and knoll and curb, the sorted infrastructure of unknown worlds, to gnaw the acrylics with their crooked teeth. Or perhaps you order your plague with wafer-thin wings, or a bundle of jutting tongues. I welcome your thoughts. Back home in the present day it’s another humid afternoon. Constellations of distant farm equipment glint in the sun. A small cloud moves like small clouds move. My neighbor is a painter. She adjusts the bowl of fruit on her table, pausing to the lone syllable of a fly. Is this ripeness? Is this ruin? Her thin wrists at rest. Her thin wrists at rest.

smelling of oranges
the longest corridor
in the ant mound