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I Remember the Carrots
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poppyromanov

I haven’t given up on trying to live a good life,

a really good one even, sitting in the kitchen

in Kentucky, imagining how agreeable I’ll be—

the advance of fulfillment, and of desire—

all these needs met, then unmet again.

When I was a kid, I was excited about carrots,

their spidery neon tops in the garden’s plot.

And so I ripped them all out. I broke the new roots

and carried them, like a prize, to my father

who scolded me, rightly, for killing his whole crop.

I loved them: my own bright dead things.

I’m thirty-five and remember all that I’ve done wrong.

Yesterday I was nice, but in truth I resented

the contentment of the field. Why must we practice

this surrender? What I mean is: there are days

I still want to kill the carrots because I can.