Issue No. 15, Winter 2015

On the Half-Life of a Banana
Jonathan Louis Duckworth

Oh why must you torment me so?
I buy in bunches of five or seven,
lay you down in wooden bowls
or hang you from brass hooks and wait.
You’re green—a verdant wall
enclosing a keep of impenetrably inedible
sour starch.
Katydid-green you remain
until the instant I look away,
and you’re transmogrified
to putrid bog-body-brown.

The half-life of a banana is a volatile thing
too mercurial to calculate.
The half-life passes, and brings the decay,
but produces no mutating particles,
no ionizing radiation,
just a cloud of fruit flies
to ruin my kitchen.
Call me silly for thinking so,
but at least with the radiation
I wouldn’t notice.


Jonathan Louis Duckworth is an MFA student at Florida International University, where he serves as a reader and copy-editor for Gulf Stream Magazine. His fiction and poetry appears in or is forthcoming in Literary Orphans, Fourteen Hills, Sliver of Stone, decomP, Cha, The Penny Dreadful, Off the Coast, Gravel, and elsewhere.