Pit and Pit

By on Mar 3, 2013 in Poetry

Peach pit and pit


after Brenda Hillman 

From different roots, the same word
evolves with opposite meanings. As in
one that’s both the hollow and the filling seed.
Evolves, as in takes many lives. Much
flesh turned on the spit above that ditch.
Many too tough nuts spit coolly out. 

Across the room, a young man with gelled hair
cranes over a scoured plate to smile more
exclusively at the ingenue who has eaten nothing.
Their first date. She has diddled the bok choy
and two flies are parading on her arctic char.
He may never be more eager, she never
more enthralled. You know how it goes. 

Or, if not, the couple next table will illustrate,
indulging at the pace of Zen masters
to punctuate what’s not being said.
His face has worn the morning paper;
hers can’t decide how to interpret
the broccolini tonight, one dry eye on
the cell phone, as if the kids will call. 

Pit and pit.
The fruit is both at its unbroken heart—
spellbound script, charged and adamant,
silent bowl of the done and known,
cleaving each other as grave and soul. 

Are you and I so opposite then
or so alike, and which way headed?
Easy in the Taijitu to see
a pit in the paisley fruit,
whether dark pock or bright egg.
But to find a hint of fruit
in the vast, teardrop well
would be as if the we of us
being steadily buried could bear
or be born again in this life,
as if more love lay before us
than we’ve lost.


Ken Haas grew up in New York City and now lives in San Francisco, where he regularly rides his black Scattante bike across the Golden Gate Bridge -- please give the secret poet's wave if you happen to be passing. He also sponsors a weekly poetry writing program at UCSF Children's Hospital. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Caesura, CHEST Journal, Forge, Hawai'I Pacific Review, Natural Bridge, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Squaw Valley Review and Tattoo Highway, and has been anthologized in The Place That Inhabits Us (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2010) as well as the Marin Poetry Center Anthology (2012).