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The Proteins

As you stand there talking to me
and eating together we share six seeds
and upstairs in the light
I pick a pomegranate-type fruit
and through all the difficulty
of peeling flesh away from seeds

and through all the difficulty,
taking grapes, taking skin,
taking seeds, take six more
as you stand there talking
typing something on your laptop
viscera moves across the screen
taking seeds, taking six more

As we share together a number of seeds
you scrutinize, assigning a number to each letter.
Six seeds and six more upstairs,
peeling flesh from a seed
with the teeth of a carnivore,
intestines short and optimized

digesting letters and letters,
you stand there talking with me
while assigning tasks to an alphabet,
I note them on a notepad
while sharing bread with you

as you leave bread on my desk
and in my purse
digesting the schematics
of a system geared toward gears. Writing
on a notepad, while we
talk together of seeds
and assign time, six months
below and six above,
as the wheat sheaves arrive

to the office in droves,
you assign animals to people,
we break bread together
over the overdrives and reboot
the auxiliaries, maybe make
a pattern when test tones sound

as rehydrating fluids hang over
you, I pour water into your mouth.
As we walk to the river together,
as denatured carbon dioxide slides
over test subjects under full-spectrum

hydrophonic bulbs, as you clutch
your head and worry over figures,
I buy stock and watch mountains
and valleys, when looking through
a microscope, I hand to you

labeled seeds, six for you
and one for me, the blood
of a carnivore, you test
subjects and assign titles
when coworkers gaze
over the park, six months

above and another six below,
two weeks to think about seeds,
10 days, two more,
11 floating holidays, two
personal days, 21 sick days,
while we watch over parks,
and you stand there talking to us,
breaking bread together
analyzing and inventing.

Even as you scrutinize
operations in a microscope,
water pours out of your mouth.
I give you barley and wheat
builds moats of glycerine water.
Oil floats up, denatured carbon
releasing softly into air.

The mouth of a carnivore,
smiling with teeth of seeds, six
shared and six written down
I share with you
these months and redistribute
upstairs the memos of seasons,
pearly grains gleam against

wolf façade, as you talk
to us high above the park,
as water pours out of your mouth,
along with numbers, we share
together the harvests, and I come
with the pomegranate-type fruit
assigning to each a gain, a small feast
under the microscope.


Marcella Durand

Marcella Durand is the author of The Prospect (Delete Press, 2020) and a recent recipient of the C.D. Wright Award in Poetry from the Foundation of Contemporary Art.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2004

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