The pantry is a cool and cedar-lined
Room in the basement where we keep the jars
We do not need right now, but someday might.
(It hasn’t happened yet, but who can tell.)
Preserves, we call them, as if that would keep
Them biohazard-free. I think they wait
For evolution. In the night I hope
To be preserved, but I know better now,
Awake. To be a boy of 17,
A damson plum with paraffin on top
To save me from my nature—-string beans grow
Pale in their darkened room: they will not turn
To tap dancers or unicyclists if
They do not break their seals. Though tubers chant
The virtues of sequestered, reddened roots,
They do not grow, and if they did, they’d drown.