Ode to Popcorn
I pour the shape-shifters
out of the old mason jar into the pan.
The color of honey, sleek
in their pile of streamlined sibs,
not one of them cares if they’re on top,
no rivalries, no grasping,
nothing falsified from skin to core,
no hint about what’s pent inside
their quarter inch of seed
that only gets expressed
when, as now, they’re being boiled in oil.
Soon they’ll snap the strappings of their haiku form,
explode ten times their size,
go wild, expressionist; no two the same:
fist, cloud, snapdragon, cauliflower,
elephant man, barnacle, merengue, a bowl
of almost weightless meteors,
an orchestra of mutant trumpets
all playing off-white tunes, although,
in each, their husk remains, in caves
or sunk in sockets like weird eyes.
For flakes like these, no way back
to raindrop symmetry. A little salt and butter
then on to meet their call: to melt
in mouths that crave a hint of paradise.
by Peter Harris