Botany As Desire

by Caroline Tanski

A Tuesday in August, Katie brought bags
of bursting tomatoes from her mother’s
farm, ridged and blemished, pronounced too ugly
to be sold, so they came to our waiting
mouths. In the sun we cut thick slices, red
as raw hope, slathered cream cheese on crusty
bread, piled tomatoes high, salt and pepper
on top. Each bite, slices tumbled
back to familiar earth. Red
splashed our fingers, shirts. Katie told of sons,
red-headed, prodding the dirt between rows
of tall tomato plants. I envied them,
still at the age to discover that things
come forth from under our feet, a whole world
of mystery in dirt, black soil birthing
sweet, ugly tomatoes.


About the Author

Caroline Tanski edits, writes, and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in burntdistrict, Noctua Review, and Knee Jerk. She earned her MFA from Chatham University and will soon beat a retreat to New England, where she was raised.