Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Letter to Anya on How to Tend a Garden; Anya in the Kitchen

Letter to Anya on How to Tend a Garden; Anya in the Kitchen
Formatting for image content: Photograph via Flickr by Andy Titcomb

Letter to Anya on How to Tend a Garden

Deconstruct the theories and diagrams of how this is supposed to work. Begin with clean fingers. Think of the garden as an animal: an eager animal of texture: an animal of silk and leather: an animal of perishable construction like ink and paper. Assemble what is constant: the ground as an unopened box, the lake as a mirror recycling images of the trees back and forth, and a skyline that feels as infinitely unfolding as a burn. Now, fill in the rest: primrose rays dripping upon the fields: migrating birds stacked at eye-level: clouds shedding into wisps and swirls. As for the season: always current.


Anya in the Kitchen

I am tired of leaving letters.
Every time I start to speak, he closes his eyes.
He watches me in the garden, in the kitchen,
leaves notes on how to tend and recreate everything.
He asked to split the pear. Said we could break
the Chinese curse separating friends from lovers. I told him
the Latin and French terms, which represent the pear alone.
I told him none of these hold power, the object remains the same.
But when I turned to him, knife and fruit in hand,
he had gone. I found his drawings of the pear later,
left on the table. He over-shaded the base,
drew it rotting. The neck over-elongated.
Next to it a lemon cut in half. One side a starburst,
the other an oval nipple. He scribbled at the bottom:
Where is your water?