Eric Odynocki

Fruit: A Personal and World History

After Jericho Brown

Mounds of citrus, berries, Red Delicious
And I don’t know how to tell what’s fresh.

          My life of stickers telling–promising–fresh
          Produce to cleanse suburban palates.

Produce arrives in suburbs on palettes
From farms nearby and drenched lands dazed with sun.

          Unknown hands pluck far-off fields drenched with sun.
          First to touch the orbs bulbous with flesh and juice,

But not to taste it. Their flesh and sweat like juice
For men with uncalloused palms to gulp.

          A century ago, men in pith hats gulped
          Power from Panama to Mexico

For fruits like Cortés’ army in Mexico,
Hoarding looted mounds, dripping red, delicious.

Eric Odynocki is a teacher and writer from New York. His work is often inspired by his experience as a first generation American of Mexican, Ukrainian, and Jewish descent. Eric’s work has been published in The Brooklyn Review, Cold Mountain Review, American Poetry Journal, PANK, Magma Poetry, and elsewhere.

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Fall 2021