James Merrill’s obituary
said he often gave gifts
destined for the midden,
a dozen eggs, a melon…
each inscribed with a word, a line
of disposable poem;

an idea so perfect to copy it would be presumption,
to have kept the shells and skins
Yet, indelible image that it is,
here in the market

produce is forever aggrandized. Each curling cabbage
anticipates a fate more glamorous
than soup and I’d joyfully comply,
cavalierly scatter verses composed as salad is,
of tossed images were I as good a literary cook
as Merrill.