That offensive fruit we were once forbidden
to eat whole can’t overcome the Panama fungus.
It attacks the roots then works its way up.
Tiered bunches are pared to hands, broken
into fingers. Bananas have no sex. Each tree
is a clone, identical to the first stem, cured
in the glass house of William Cavendish.
Too perfect, if one succumbs, they all die.
The Bachelor Duke had no children,
only bananas: the same banana that Maria
Sharapova’s father waved from the stands,
feeding her victory at the US Open, where
she defended accusations of cheating: “My life
is not about a banana.” The same banana Elvis
fried between peanut butter and bacon,
then drizzled with honey before gyrating
“Hound Dog” on Ed Sullivan. The same banana
that inspired the Warhol print on the cover
of The Velvet Underground & Nico, that teased
the listener to “Peel slowly and see,” revealing
a flesh colored fruit. The same banana my father
ate every morning, slick coins stirred into Quaker oats.
Bananas are like daughters. Their bodies
are ribbons of gold, so easy to melt and trade
for cash. A green banana won’t ripen until
it is picked and shipped away from the tree,
and reaches your table, ready to eat. Forget
daughters, their mouths sour with lemons.
I want bananas to be my life, tucked into tin
lunch boxes, lounging in hammocks, swinging
from hooks like a perennial ornament. I want
a crescent curled in the corner of a coordinate
plane, an endless asymptote that wakes up
in a new place every day. A high collar jacket,
a tough skin. A cartoon gag that never grows old,
an era when cream pies filled a room with laughter.
I want something so perfect it can’t possibly last.
When I ask, “Is that a banana in your pocket,
or are you just happy to see me?” I want
the answer to always be, “It’s you, honey, it’s you.”