Our Grandson Asks Me About Olives by Toby Cogswell

Grandpa likes the ones from Nicoise.

He had some romantic adventures there.

He likes the ones with chili and spice;

when you kiss his mustache you can taste

the words that will turn into poems

and whispers of heat. You won’t know that,

but you will understand it in a few years.


I like the bright green ones with pimiento.

I am pedestrian. Give me a jar, a skewer,

let’s see how many we can stab with one try.

You put yours on a plate and eat them with

an afternoon snack. I’ ll put mine in a martini

and eat them with gin. We can discuss

the merits of both all day. You will understand

it in a few years, as you spit pits into your palm.



The surface of ungodly planets,

agar in a petri dish,

rain in the dust.

Burst bubbles on childhood

pancakes, rusty brown, speckled eggs of

dark gray, and cold.

The sound of water boiling

dances on the roof.

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