A Canned Response

A poem that does not specify what it describes.

Loved and hated both

     with the same passion

Yet we stay neutral     in beige

We are fun guys

   They joke at our expense

   Those who love us    to those who do not

The waitress at the pizza joint asks

   fresh or canned, as if this isn’t an obvious choice

A surprising number prefer our slimy form
   preserved      in a metal can
   far too long

We are rubbery and slide down the throat
   like a–   raw oyster

We bring earthen essence

Smooth, blooming soft flesh

   Firm yet delicate
   We break and crumble

Our lives begins with crap–    literal crap

   We grow rampantly    if
   given the chance

Dark  

   We prefer the dark until harvested

Left for too long, our flesh softens like

   that of a middle-aged woman

Becoming slimy as our canned brethren

Earthen aroma seeps from our spores

Pluck us whilst we are young

Brush the dirt from our flesh

Never bathe us in water. We are

   Empaths— taking on fluid
  like a sponge

At our best, we absorb

   that which encounters

   our flesh

A dance

A mélange

We are best when just a part

   of a larger celebration of flavors

Yet we remain unique

Earthen

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