Durian (poetry)

For his seventeenth birthday, I bought my Thai stepson a green, spiny
“poo poo” fruit, the proper name for which is “durian,” the mighty stench—

abject suffering—one of the Four Noble Truths spoken by Buddha
grounding in our physicality, merciless as dirty diapers.

He’d been craving the delicate, baneful brown-yellow fruit flesh for months,
spoke of it often, pining, a taste of sunny childhood in Phuket

laid sensually against the teeth, tongue, and palate, lilting comfort
like the sonorous language he had to exchange for stark, clipped our English.

-M. Ashley

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