"Pulse" by Eric Breish
“Pulse” by Eric Breish

by Sunni Brown Wilkinson

Canning tomatoes. Globular reds roiling
and bountiful in the large pot.
The silky skin of them puckers and tears.
Cooler, in your hands they nearly pulse.
Cut out the green heart.
Outside, finches in the neighbor’s maple
haggle over the view singing, Look, look
how lucky you are. Old Gene is going,

sits on his porch every day
waving goodbye
to the bright world, even his long white hair waving.

At the door, a mosquito haphazardly skates on the glass
and behind it
finches spark, fulgurant, striking suddenly
into the trees
like thrown confetti. In the opera on the stereo the lovers
have just met. She opens a window
and he is there, below,
and she is too bright for the modern world.

Bottled, each tomato presses its face
against the glass, curious and childlike,
like a heart thumping in wonder,

like the soft knock at the door. Open it
and there is a dead finch
yellow at the heart and one loose feather on the glass.
Pick it up. Open your hands and Gene waves hello,
pitches hard, letting an invisible baseball go.
We have lived
in this same neighborhood and never touched.

The wind blows
and suddenly a tree reaches for the door.
The lovers touch. They will not die
in each other’s arms but the song
will go like this, Look
how lucky you are.

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