Winter 2006-7

David B Axelrod


The banana was discovered hiding on a shelf together with others green and hard who protested they meant us no harm. Separate the banana from its bunch. Discuss how it can be stripped. Wrapped in a plastic sack it can stay fresh indefinitely even as it ripens yellows turns softer inside. Soften it up. It bruises easily. Give the banana air but give it no hope. Show it pictures of other bananas who have deteriorated kept similarly, their flesh turned soft and brown, pulp oozing from lesions. Banana you have no rights. No one knows you’re here. You are only a banana and we own you. Banana you will be here until you rot. Be quiet banana. We will strip your skin off, make you more helpless. Handle the banana as if it were food that can be taunted. You are just a banana. Threaten it with wet open mouth. Show teeth. Pinch off a small spot and rub fingers in it. Photograph the banana lubricated and near a woman. Are you embarrassed? Grow up! There should be a law against it. No touching the banana. Scream the name of it repeatedly, shouting at it tied to others in a bunch. Your mother was a floppy-leafed tree. Your father was a broken stick. We will hang you for all to see, keep you and all your kind in pain until you surrender totally. Stop being what you are and instead love me. I will be your god your savior, your keeper and your liberator, your feeder and starver, your promise and your lie. Tell me everything about bananas, bananhood don’t deny who you are. Love being it and confess to it and roll in flour, fry in oil be the fritter the bread the sliced fruit in my cereal the milkshake the unmitigated insult to my senses stinking of all the sweat and excrement of my righteous keeping you here. Hear oh lord this banana’s confession and set it free of worldly bonds. Pronounce it sinless, its soul rising to heaven. Our banana full of banana thy banana come thou banana come. Come banana become one of us and we will love you. Converted we will bring into our home. What do we want with you except to make you like us. See how we live cleanly, protected from all those parts of you that we fear. That is what we want, de-simionized, sanitized, looking like only a temperate and safe store product we will accept you. Ah how we will love you. There is always forgiveness and possibly celebrity. Why are you motionless and limp? Why are you angry and desperate? Why are you starved and hopeless? Quickly classify this report. Let no one see these pictures. Blame the man with the machete not the exporter of bananas. Lie if asked. What banana? I was only following orders. No one I know did it. No, the orders came from the middle. No this is an isolated incident involving at best just a few bananas. No it won’t happen again unless we have to. When might we have to? That too is secret. Secret. Secreted. Wipe away any traces. What can’t be cleaned will naturally disappear if we wait long enough. Hail to the Top Banana and all his staff. The United States of Bananas. My country tears of thee, sweet land of banana trees. Of thee I sing.



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