Harvest. by Maxine Phoenix

Everything so good, you gorge on it like ripe fruit—
Sickness all-consuming as you grab fistfuls of peaches,
Fleshy pink watermelon,
The soft bodies squeezing out from between your knuckles
Piling onto your lap,
Spilling off the table.

Forgive my eagerness, please
(The fruit, or
Reacting to your goodness;
Wanting all of you, with all of me, always
And fearing the absence);
Forgive my inconsistent openness, please
(Stopping and starting, exhaust
Flooding into the air behind,
A rusty car with new, patched wheels);
Forgive my mess, please
(Still learning, growing into my skin
And feeling around for an invisible boundary
—finding none,
Only open fields and your hands guiding me through them).

Time is not something cruel,
Mocking with every tick of the hand
But something lazy and lovely,
Unfurling in front of us like the sunset,
Turning pink and lilac and burning up the bluest parts of the sky.
It’s waiting for the harvest,
Not plucking each fruit from the vine as they ripen
And enjoying the bounty,
Under the rich blanket of orange-rimmed clouds above.

"Harvest" emerges from an ongoing series, sprouting out of a desire to be more present and observe not only myself and my loved ones (and the birds on my balcony) but the movement of time, of self-worth (as fluid a thing as any), and of the ways the world echoes back emotion. 

Maxine Phoenix is a writer (poetry, fiction, screenwriting) and an aspiring bird-watcher based in California. She graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts at USC, has worked as an actor and in marketing, and fills the cracks with poetry.