Once as we scavenged in the jungle I asked my friend
about sadness. "How will I know when it comes?"
He was up on his haunches, pulling at a leafy branch
I couldn't reach. "First learn about jackfruit," he said,
handing me a ripe one. It smelled heavy & delicate,
like my friend. "Break it. What do you see?"
"Only these seeds," I said, "& all exceedingly small."
My friend scratched where the trap had bitten him years ago,
& a steady stream of green ants carried a moth wing
across the footpath. It passed like a sail or a fin.
"Break one," he said. "Now what do you see?"
I split open a seed with the edge of my thumbnail,
cupped it in the palms of my hands & squinted
under the smoky light slanting downward
through the treetops. There was a very small tree
folded up inside, with one pale leaf on a stem
the length of an eyelash. It sprang to life
& put out hundreds of jackfruit blossoms all at once
but when I started to speak they blew everywhere.