National Poetry Month: Day 23. “Xanthic the Day, Cyanic the Day” by Matthew Hittinger

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Xanthic the Day, Cyanic the Day

Fulgent the day teeters between dried
leaf bits and a heat reminiscent
of summer. The tractor kicks up dust,

corn husks. Hay-bale bounced we weave deeper
into scythed fields. Pumpkins dot the ruts
the grid like a Mondrian, tonal

palette a Picasso after Braque.
Quest for the perfect gourd : consistent
shape, stem fit-gripped, not bottom-rotten

not side-flat not mush-turned-beetle-shine.
Vine-tangled we end the check, select,
weighed and stickered : thirty cents a pound.

And later our incisions precise
as a sculptor-surgeon’s we probe, touch
frosty innards, measure the rind’s width,

separate seeds from the guts, tray-salt,
oven hiss, trace and prick faint patterns :
reversed relief of shallow dots mine

a memento mori skull all tooth
and grin, yours grave-risen and white sheet-
clad soul haunted haunting wiggle ghost.

Matthew Hittinger

Matthew Hittinger is the author of the chapbooks Pear Slip (Spire Press, 2007) winner of the Spire 2006 Chapbook Award, Narcissus Resists (GOSS183/MiPOesias, 2009), and Platos de Sal (Seven Kitchens Press, 2009). He lives and works in New York City.


Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →