Sunday, April 13, 2014

13 of 30: "Crush" by Ada Limón

Sometimes a poem hits you like a tetherball to the head.

I first read this next poem in a copy of The New Yorker at the Northwestern Michigan College Writing Center office in the early summer of 2009. The poem makes me feel like I'm in Eden. And as a University of Michigan student in 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the poet, Ada Limón, asking her questions about the poem itself, publishing it, inspiration, writing a book, social media, MFA programs and more.

Ada's book Sharks in the Rivers (Milkweed Editions, 2010) is still one of my favorite collections of poetry. I love coming back to it over and over again. For this special Sunday (special mostly due to the new Mad Men on tonight), here is the poem called "Crush" by Ada Limón:
Maybe my limbs are made
mostly for decoration,
like the way I feel about
persimmons. You can’t
really eat them. Or you
wouldn’t want to. If you grab
the soft skin with your fist
it somehow feels funny,
like you’ve been here
before and uncomfortable,
too, like you’d rather
squish it between your teeth
impatiently, before spitting
the soft parts back up
to linger on the tongue like
burnt sugar or guilt.
For starters, it was all
an accident, you cut
the right branch
and a sort of light
woke up underneath,
and the inedible fruit
grew dark and needy.
Think crucial hanging.
Think crayon orange.
There is one low, leaning
heart-shaped globe left
and dearest, can you
tell, I am trying
to love you less.
13 of 30. Happy National Poetry Month!