Boneman Behind the Pear Tree at Sunrise

An orange skull, relentless, conversational
almost, watches me each morning, its chin
on the neighbor’s roof, its silhouette perfect
in the pear and pomegranate leaves, vacuous
eyes staring as if to threaten the sun to rise.
Boneman will be reshaped or disappeared
if the already-hot dawn breeze kicks up a bit
but it won’t, the hector shade of peach is all
but guaranteed as boneman laughs daring
the day to climb above this leafy horizon.
Boneman sneers its lurid way to a memory
and the sky fades to drought-gray. Hazy like pie
dough defrosting on the butcher block, frozen too
long. Won’t be flaky. Soggy, heavy and sour in your
mouth like the weather forecast. Like the pandemic
forecast. Hot. Sick. Dead. Hot, don’t leave the season
out to rot. Remember September brings death stories
ripened when abandoned pears and pomegranates hang
from the noose of their own stems. Not tart. Just over
poached. Colonized like victims of covid, condemned
to shiver and spit until January. Eat your onions they
recommended in 1918, today we offer bleach and broken
down liberties, like red seeds in a petri dish, we measure
the renegade juice as it drips off the edge, the pulp stripped
of truth. Or life or freedom. Boneman waits behind the bare pear
tree. Hungry. As patient as the seller who took too much from
me for a peace lily at a garage sale; she won me over with
her romance, with the dark green plant and tears about
having to relocate, and we both knew the boneman sat
behind her story, this blue pot of pointed leaves and I
should just pay and move along. Boneman is busy these
pandemic days. Hanging like a skull in your tree. We all
have one. We all share at least that. And an empty pie plate.

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