Dorothy Ball


A watermelon radish makes strange bait.
I bit, all nervy as we quit the bar
and wandered toward your place so I could taste
this root, this concentration of the farm

where you were born, something that I'd fetishized
beyond the fresh-egg, calico, and hay-
bale romance—imagining a small-sized
world, tougher than our city lives, each day

with you a mess of honest rot, manure,
and growing things. But as you knelt with knife
and board, the green and purple root, I knew
how this would end. I tried the first thin slice,

but there was not enough for two to eat:
all appetizer, flare of salt, earth, heat.

Dorothy Ball is an editor at Princeton Architectural Press.

Issue 4

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