Oyster Boy Review 14  
  Winter 2001
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» Levee 67


Of Pyrus communis

Jim Cory


stand by the tree in May
sense the presence

of one thousand bees
delighted to be

what instinct

they do best


strange that
the starbright flower
which initiates
nature's greatest olfactory achievement
has itself
no odor
for nose
to dwell on (in?)


all summer hard green speckled
lump til
for 2 or 3 days
plump & perfect it
sits the grainy
but fragile skin
suddenly a soft sulfur hue


their heft shape & richness of taste
—all of fall
summed up on the tongue—
make them
the lesser choice
of pie-makers


teardrop shaped bag
of hard pulp
brown bellybutton at the base
the way weight & mass
settle as its lower half
the unsubtle slimming
of the upper portion
tapering to the stem
(a giant's eyelash)


approach a bowl
at the zenith of their splendor

you will smell their juice & taste
at half a room's distance


no amount of chocolate sauce cinnamon nor sprinkled cloves
neither poaching nor baking
the delicate perfection
of the fruit itself
as it enters
the narrow zone of absolute ripeness


people compare its form
to a certain type of torso
as a way of saying: awkward
ungainly squalid

tho they forget
how the first bite
of the first ripe fruit
in September
is precisely that kiss
which took years to happen


resident object of still lifes:
not those of Cezanne who famously
favored apples but rather
belonging to the world of Dutch masters
who found its awkward shape in candlelight
a repository of challenges
involving the articulation in paint
of every shade of shade


when ripe heat oven to 300 degrees
place fruit on pan
heat 12 minutes
slice into small dish
cover w/sauce whipped cream nuts


not to be carried long
as the slightest mishandling
stains the skin a murdered brown
which then extends itself
to the pulp
erasing the taste to mush


rotted bodies round the treebase
half drunk hornets gorge on pulp
boring & bored flit
hole to hole antennae waving


on winter's first day
the last slim leaf

flies off
leaving at sunset

the silhouette
of a few black fruit

wearily warily