They were all at the fireworks show when we raided the community garden.
It was my idea. I walked by it all the time. I had seen the old ladies
tending their tiny plots, weeding in the heat, watering every day,
monitoring the slow growth, and I had thought: I’d like to rip it all
We heard the booms and saw distant sparks.
First we picked things to eat, as if it were our garden. Tomatoes we
sank our teeth into like apples, our mouths spilling seedy pulp. Strawberries like free candy.
Then we picked things to throw – watermelons, pumpkins. Bright fleshy
carnage splatted on nearby tree trunks.
Last we picked things just to pick them. Sometimes we let them fall next
to where their roots had been, as if to flaunt the unnecessity.
In the morning the old ladies would see what had happened. They would
shake their heads and cry. They would think: Who could do such a thing?
The human heart is not a garden. It will not be tended.
The booms got quiet and the colored light stopped, and from far away