O Devayani, you thought they would
You bought a bag of tomatoes in
and ate most of them
half ripe, as they always are,
from the grocery store.
But -- having momentarily lost
the taste for tomatoes --
you set two aside to ripen.
Week after week they remained
on top of the refridgerator,
not quite ripe,
yellowish-red, their skins firm,
their flesh smooth.
They didn't ripen and they didn't rot.
Months went by,
they remained the same as the day
you put them atop the refridgerator.
You laughed with your friends
you speculated on the horrors
of genetically altered foodstuffs.
You thought of the half dozen you had eaten.
Would they stay in your stomach
month after month,
unchanged, forever, like the two tomatoes
on top of the fridge?
You read an article that said irradiating
keeps them in a state of not quite ripe.
It didn't say forever, but...
Irradiated food. One month,
five months --
possibly in the sixth month,
first one and then the other tomato
began to rot.
They soon began to smell abominably.
Is this food?
two immortal tomatoes.
do you wonder
that you fear the sustenance
of this society:
fear, anxiety, permanence, insurance,
the desire to forego change
a wise woman would fear to eat
anything at all.
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: email@example.com
I Am Innuit
Crossing the Country