BY JAN HAAG

INTRODUCTION + POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART





TWO TOMATOES

4-6-96




O Devayani, you thought they would
never die.
You bought a bag of tomatoes in
October,
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
about them,
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
vegetables
keeps them in a state of not quite ripe.
It didn't say forever, but...
Irradiated food. One month,
two months
three months
four months

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 tomatoes,

two immortal tomatoes.
O Devayani,
do you wonder
that you fear the sustenance
of this society:
fear, anxiety, permanence, insurance,
the desire to forego change
and death?
O Devayani,
a wise woman would fear to eat
anything at all.




Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@u.washington.edu




OTHER DEVAYANI POEMS

Entertainment

Gifts

Lung-gom-pas

Nothing



OTHER POEMS ABOUT AMERICA

Arizona Desert

Cicada

Confidence

George Coluzzi

I Am Innuit

McDonald Observatory



TRAVEL STORIES ABOUT AMERICA

Mission Walk

Crossing the Country



BY JAN HAAG


POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO