Argument/ Discussion
Erin Murphy

Lately, it seems we've turned into
one of those Arcimboldo prints,
the reversible ones—this way,
a basket of vegetables; that way,
a man's bulbous face.
One minute we're naked, sweaty bodies--
the next: popcorn-munching video drones.

And the moment—the moment
is like the old woman
who invited you in for tea
when you only wanted to sell her
a raffle ticket. You should have
covered the whole block,
but there you were, sinking
into a down-filled davenport—her word—-
discussing the derivation of "lady's fingers."

But where was I? Oh yes:
our relationship. Re-la-tion-ship.
Perhaps the problem is too many
syllables, though the nautical
allusion has a nice ring (oh boy).
If we could say "our love"
and be done with it, or better yet "it"--
it's the only "it" that matters,
after all—we could cut this
freeze-frame crap and dive
head-on into montage.

In another Arcimboldo print—
"The Lawyer"—a bull's ass
is the Adam's apple. Ah, symbolism.

All our faces come back
vegetables from the frame shop.
But it's okay. For once, a carrot
is only a carrot.

With apologies to Giuseppe Arcimboldo...