I promise I still have lots of angry love/hate poems about boys, but for now I wanted to share one on the topic I had not been able to address in my work before.

As for the post title, I know there is a long-running “magical fruit” vs. “good for your heart” debate, and this is just one opinion. The important thing is that we can all agree that we will soon be ready for a whole new meal, thanks to beans.

the night
has long been my enemy.
darkness never silent enough.

each sound
is the man with the knife
come back to finish what he started
and dreams are torture chambers
filled with blood
that wake me sweating
into every fresh sheet,
screaming pillow-deep.

when I drove away
from the underpass
I cried
no and no and no
like denial might undo
the hours of captivity.
like no could revoke reality.

I drew his face in my journal
so I’d remember it for police
but then I hated him there
looking up at me
each time I tried to turn the page.

so I tore it out.

but the jagged edge was worse.
its teeth ate all my words.

and after the hypnotist said
she couldn’t make me forget
I found a good deal on amnesia.

the only catch
was in the fine print:
to forget him
I had to forget myself.

my laughter
I signed away
for a handful of beans
which I then buried
and nurtured with care:
they were watered with whiskey,
kept out of full sun,
their soil enriched with the futility
of endeavors abandoned
before they’d begun.

and I guess it half-worked
because 13 years later
I hardly knew my own name
but when I saw the photo lineup
I remembered his face
just the same.

I fell upon my patch of dirt
and cried into the earth.

It was only then
pouring pain earnestly forward
giving the seeds what
they were owed—
a torrent of tears
I’d kept in since 17—
that something blossomed

very gently

and thank you

and hello