I perched on the staircase, peeking through splintered
banisters, listening to the pastor lead my mother
in prayer, dreading the consumption of all those bananas.
All I remember of sickness is
bananas. Their supple elasticity, rubbery
outsides, the gradients of yellow: cornsilk,
papaya, goldenrod, bisque. Thick-skinned, ripened
little moons, pressed against cellophane, tied tight
with bows, pinned in baskets, bowls, platters
sent from everyone on the block.
The starchy-sweet peels shift from yellow
to mottled brown to shriveled black.
Some of them must already be decaying
from the inside. The Doctors said bananas
were good for recovery: potassium, eight amino acids,
their effect on lymph nodes. Repeating words like:
chronic inflammation, muscle contraction,
the inconvenience of swelling.