How to grow little purple potatoes
You’ll have a slip, slender white lengths of thread unspooled
and draped around the waist. You can keep it in water hip deep
until it is strong enough to meet soil, or introduce it
to your colony of darkling beetles — they’ll leave it alone
in favour of something a little more fertile. Avoid red worms
who will compost anything they can get their mouths around,
especially sweet infant roots that don’t yet know
what they were made for. It will flower. And you can eat
the greens or violently split them to duplicate.
In months or years you may finally produce a tuber,
hesitant to leave the ground you’ve proffered
with ivory roaches or Death’s Heads, but you’ll still sneak
your hands into the dirt once in a while, seeking their purple flesh.
It’s difficult enough to hollow an egg,
watch the embryo pass forcefully
through the pinprick hole, strangely gelatinous,
more solid than you expected, clinging
by membrane to the edges until it drops
into the bowl — you’ll not want to cook those.
Every time you push, a little flows back
up at your throat, a yolky reminder
you can taste at your lips. It helps to shake
and stir, prescrambled and less likely
to resist. Eventually you’ll force out
a whole home in under a minute;
eventually that initial popping
won’t even shock you anymore.
L Favicchia holds a PhD in creative writing from the University of Kansas. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in North American Review, Gulf Stream Magazine and Permafrost, among others, and their debut collection of poetry, boy little girl, was published in 2023 by Main Street Rag. More: lfavicchia.com