Seven days have passed
and they’ve hung from a metal hook
with arched backs and freckled skin
invoking the savagery
of a Soutine painting, not the same
sensation you feel
when reflecting on bananas,
the monkey slouched
under palm leaves peeling
their yellow rind — or women draped
in flowered cloth
balancing fruit on their heads
with impeccable grace.
Instead, you sense how they hang
helplessly on the counter
waiting to be mashed and mixed
in a glass bowl.
Only after they’ve been stirred
into the batter and become
that cake risen to a rectangle
of spiced mahogany, does the effect change.
Something sweet and handcrafted prevails.
The warm scent and baked surface
becomes polished wood,
a table where my toddler
learned to walk, pulling herself up
and staring at this place
where household shapes
swirled in shadow and slid off
the edge of her flat world. The sun
climbing higher in the sky
and my daughter’s eyes rubbed, rounding off
to afternoon sleep.