Essence (2018)
text by Helen Hofling
for speaking pianist

by Helen Hofling

Whenever I go to the kitchen I squeeze an avocado.
It doesn’t make a sound.
It is always the same avocado.
Even when it grows soft, it is never ripe.

I am sick from my life.
Blank statements are almost never bold,
but at least you can
throw a sheet over the parts you don’t like.
Pretend you are the avocado.

Avocado skins are poisonous to birds, I hear,
a poison that can leach into the meat of the fruit.
Do not feed avocado meat to your parrot.

At tea, I poured a ghost back and forth
from one cup to another
like an egg.
It made the sound of beating wings.
Pretend you are the ghost.

What did it feel like,
separating body from spirit?

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December 2018