The fruit, fixed. A precision, dissolve of wither
and bruises.

When produce is political, the government shuts down
safety, as a weapon.

Food becomes borders.
A portal of flavor and people furloughed,

a bare minimum.
Long sly bargaining with rogue.

The tables turned over.
Everything inside of us, hidden.
A wall switch clicked on gospel, a pistol with choices.

My youngest son asked, what if we cloned our food?
I told him we already do.

Maybe I press down too heavy;
make too many dents inside of truths.

I wonder what he will eat of what we leave him.
Imitation wonders about perfect:

an absurd bland sandwich,
a buttered skillet, with high heat and abrasions,
a plate equipped with plastics,
meal ready fragments, well-seasoned and astute.

The leafy rotten skins, trembling.


Dionne Custer Edwards is a writer and arts educator at The Wexner Center for the Arts. She created Pages, a writing program where she curates arts experiences for high school students, and co-edits an anthology of student writing and art. She has work in 3Elements Review, Flock, Grist, The Seventh Wave, Crack the Spine, Tahoma Literary Review, and others. She is based in Columbus, Ohio, where she lives with her husband and three sons. Find her online at and @dcusteredwards.