photo of mold

to decay by Sam Stebbins

(Please rotate your handheld device to landscape mode to provide maximum width for each line.)

I’ve spent the past few weeks
watching mold grow
on stewed tomatoes, mourning
their sweetness, the possibility of feeling
the catch of the teeth of a serrated knife as
I slice through them. I’ve been thinking about
the serrated knife, a gift from my mother,
designed for cutting

meat I cannot afford and wouldn’t
eat anyway. My vegan friend goes on
about the way meat rots and it only
reminds me of my own body, the way
the skin falls from my heels.

Above the tomatoes
is a photograph of my dog
from above as she stood on my feet.
How dizzying the angle in the frame,
how comforting in the moment, how
toxic everything might turn in time.

Sam Stebbins is a poet from Grand Rapids, Michigan. A recent graduate from Grand Valley State University, Sam enjoys listening to punk and wearing turtlenecks. To pay the bills, she writes about people who make wire refrigerator racks. Otherwise, she writes about insects, fruit, and maternal figures. Some of those poems have or will soon appear in Red Cedar Review, The 3288 Review, and Riggwelter.

Lead image“Mold” (via Flickr user Thomas Bresson)