Breakfast in a Thin Land

In the green it happens
of an avocado
green where the ink

of its buttery covenant with yokey yellow
striates
and births its perfect stone

& in the orange yellow of hen’s eggs
feather dusted and sold
80 pesos a clip

tucked into corded newsprint
on feed store counters
& in the tomato’s seeded jelly

a sanguine blast onto my cutting board
temblor sirens  school dismissals
neighbors gangplanked

on tsunami watch
& in the dreggy tea leaves
we read

under helicopter buzz
wondering when to seek high ground
when to swallow


JEFF SCHIFF is the author of That hum to go by (Mammoth Books, 2012), Mixed Diction, Burro Heart, The Rats of Patzcuaro, The Homily of Infinitude, and Anywhere in this Country. His work has appeared internationally in more than eighty periodicals, including The Alembic, Grand Street, The Ohio Review, Poet & Critic, The Louisville Review, Tendril, Pembroke Magazine, Carolina Review, Chicago Review, Hawaii Review, Southern Humanities Review, River City, Indiana Review, Willow Springs, and The Southwest Review. He has been a member of the English faculty at Columbia College Chicago since 1987.

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