Taking away the stars
The Way Celery Grows
Rip apart the package and take
out the full-grown stalk. Cut
off the base, two inches thick,
discard the rest. Fill a crystal-
clear bowl with water and drown
it in the coolness. Wait
a week and then you’ll start
to see the center rise
like a volcano forming
from rocks and mud. Day after
day, it grows closer to the sky.
A month goes by. Leaves soon
appear, taking over the three
skinny stalks tall as your hand,
like fingernails left untrimmed,
waving with each breath blowing
through the house. The water will grow
green with syrupy slime that attacks
what’s left of the base, rotting
it away into brown sludge.
I don’t know how long it takes
until it’s ready to eat.
All I know is how it grows,
taller and taller each day
until it covers the windowsill
with shade, my own little tree.