Lettuce by Nick Sturm
Kevin grows lettuce. Kevin hugs you when you come to talk
about lettuce. He gives you a hug and two handfuls of rain
and all his Stevie Nicks albums because he’s moving on but
won’t say from what. Kevin grows the lettuce and has faith
in the lettuce and his faith gives you faith and that’s why
you hug Kevin. Lonely lettuce, holiday lettuce, sleeping lettuce,
lettuce of god, lettuce of war, the first lettuce to be carried
into space, don’t give up lettuce, hanging lettuce, hypoallergenic
lettuce, seedless lettuce, boneless lettuce, lettuce en Español,
John Cage lettuce, Hegelian lettuce no one can decide whether
to agree with or not, wild lettuce, my heart is in Cleveland
lettuce: Kevin grows it all. Kevin has a plan. Basically,
keep growing lettuce. Basically, keep moving until it’s called
dancing. When you ask Kevin what he loves most
he looks out over his lettuce fields as if he’s discovered
the New World and knows it was an accident and that
is why he loves it. Fresh water lettuce, little black dress
lettuce, plea for clemency lettuce, we all need to hold onto
something lettuce, romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, some stars
turn into Earth-sized diamonds when they die lettuce,
the last cookie is yours lettuce, Ramada Inn lettuce, little
yellow flowers at the end of America lettuce, a great hope
in how, in the morning, for a moment, your body barely
belongs to you lettuce. Kevin tells you Googling lettuce
will result in approximately 49,900,000 results. He tells you
we all play our part. He tells you how bad it is for the lettuce
that we talk about art like work and love like economics.
Kevin reaches out without touching you and says A bouquet
is also something you can pull from the trash. To create anything is
an act of pleasure. To create anything is to articulate the difference
between a horse with a dusting of snow on its mane and a horse
with a wet mane, which might seem like a trivial distinction
but what we know is determined by the smallest degrees of difference
and what do you really know about horses anyway? Stravinsky,
Jesus, John Candy: they all got close but no one actually gets there.
Kevin is full of these things, these things come out of Kevin
and form tiny bridges between his mouth and the world
painted in what it feels like to devote your life to something
that is mostly water. We should all be so lucky lettuce,
there are no guarantees lettuce, staying up all night
just to prove to one another we’re here lettuce, muffled
warmth lettuce, what we are exists not in front of the eye
but behind it lettuce, unwanted screws are to be placed
in the bucket lettuce, just try lettuce and keep it together lettuce,
deer head lettuce, hand dryer lettuce, lettuce lettuce, lettuce
of the Edict of Nantes, lettuce of 2680 BC, lettuce of the lettuce
drawer that holds beer and never lettuce. Let us, says Kevin,
take our lives out into the lettuce where inside everything is a smaller
everything, where our bodies might conjugate back to light,
for we know so little and the roads from here are only for leaving
what’s good in us behind. Toothbrush in the trashcan lettuce,
she’s gone lettuce, middle of nowhere lettuce, sentimental
mixtape lettuce, passion let us have passion lettuce, it’s not easy
lettuce, your turquoise sweater lettuce, boil water just to hear
the sound of the kettle lettuce, the small beautiful things you keep
on the bathroom windowsill lettuce, the world is us kissing
under a sheet lettuce, opera libretto lettuce, unintelligible lettuce,
lettuce beyond forgiveness, lettuce beyond the milk of ambiguity,
complete misunderstanding lettuce, there’s still a chance
to spend all afternoon in the sun lettuce, it’s time to start
giving a shit lettuce because in these rows of dreams Kevin
is handing you a head of lettuce saying Your heart does what it can
not to be heard but someone is listening. Anything in a tank top deserves
to be loved. The clouds have only had names for 200 years. There is
so much still to be done.

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