the beetle and the bean

Fog came, higher up,
      despite midday sun,
the trees wore cloud-
cover and light rain,
      threads of sacred
ceremonies, the coffee
on the mountain ripens
as it grows, seasonless
relentless, each tree yields
for a human lifetime and
             recedes.

The island is the mountain.
Even the mossy pockets
forged from volcanic rage
      are quiet and fruitful,
      the coffee is steeped
in the seeds of meatier flora
in the pitch songs of Pele
who at the center of the island
churns a fearsome
              storm.

I come not for the mountain,
which is young
         like we are, but
the seeds and their companion
an invasive species of beetle
no larger than a grain,
             bore
with little instance of failure
into the belly if the bean
when it is young
          like we are
and together they grow
the fruit from the tree
the bug from the seed

It is a frivolous love
that eats its own bed
and sleeps in a pithy tomb
but the beetle is bound to it
as are we,
       newly wed
        freshly bathed
wandering through coffee groves
under the modesty of clouds
revealing in this yield a wet black
                   companion.

—ECW