Kenan Ince

Ode to United Fruit

Rainbows of mangos, bananas, and guavas line boxes in a warehouse, baking under equatorial sun. Good that someone knows how to transmute the raw materials of life into such goodwill packages, dripping with seeds like cluster bombs. Good that someone can gather coconuts lying like trained militias on Cuban shores and stack them into formation. What nature needs is order. Break down the borders that divide us from Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, with boatloads of pineapples and tamarinds. No one will ever ask for their papers despite their brown skin: we remove the skin of a thing before we consume it. Plantain, mamey sapote, papaya: our dream of a unified race. Tones averaged to a blushing orange; virginal bride on her wedding night. Nopal, tomatillo, chayote squash: wait until ripe to invade with mouth or serving fork. Manioc, Adam’s fig, fruta bomba straining to drop from the branch: please don’t fall before we’re ready.

Kenan Ince is a mathematician from Dallas currently living in Houston. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Permafrost; has appeared in Word Riot and HeART Online, among others; and has been ranted at in the comments section of the Houston real estate blog Swamplot. He has been a featured poet in Houston’s Public Poetry and First Friday reading series.