Hanging Heart 4
By Shannon Phillips

I’ve always admired peanut butter
for its adhering qualities.

And the apple for enduring despite the bad
rap it received as the forbidden fruit.

And bananas for preserving their dignity
even after Freud.

And the pomegranate for conspiring with
Hades to trap Persephone.

And tomatoes for maintaining a binary
identity in the Fruit-n-Veggie universe.

Berries and grapes also have their virtues
except they often get made into spread,

relinquishing their identity, their form.
That’s about as good as a woman

who melts in a man’s arms,
oozing through his fingers,

nothing to grasp, no tangible resistance,
no satisfying pierce and chomp for the teeth.

That’s another reason to admire peanut butter:
Because it puts up with jelly.

“Eating” was previously published in The Literary Review No. 18 (2005).


  1. I knew a little girl that hummed while eating. She also wrote poems that I love reading. I love and will always love Shannon Therese .I was wondering, did you hum while writing this poem about eating?

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