“Organic Farming” by Nicole Melchionda

Organic Farming

I. The Discovery

Fingers trekked around throbbing ear
smelling for infection.
Are you a tumor?
Sleep no longer nourishes me
or the mass, a black bean:
firm, plump, and so very dark,
rotting inside my body.
How did I become germinated?

II. The Walk-in Clinic

I arrived before the doors unlocked.
Waiting rooms make bodies
leak premature death.

III. The Diagnosis

The older man (conventionally handsome)
shook my lubricated palm.
He dove into me for only a moment
before tossing me back to the nurse.
She flushed me out twelve times
until I was clean again.
“I have this lump in my neck,” I said,
gesturing with my hand.
He pressed for half a second.
Swollen lymph node from infection.

IV. The Waiting

Is spent with drops marinating canals.
One second unraveled 43,200.
The fingers obsessively prod
my little black bean,
checking to see if it sprouted
or aborted.

(27 lines)

Justin’s Note:  Poetry is about flavor. Nineteen lines about leaves falling may be a villanelle, but it’s the words and the way they dance with one another that makes it magic. That is flavor. Nicole Melchionda is a master chef, who’s dedicated her life to creating this flavor. You, dear reader, could learn a thing or two from her. Flavor. Magic. Cover yourself now in stardust. Our master chef here has given us a mere taste, and we will all be left to wait for the main course.

Nicole Melchionda is currently a senior at Stetson University where she is majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She recently completed an independent study on gothic poetry with award-winning poet Terri Witek. The interests that infiltrate her work include biology, human anatomy, cosmology, psychology, and interpersonal relationships.


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