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Friday, July 20, 2007


by Nin Andrews

I heard on the BBC the other night
that banana farmers in Latin America
are becoming sterile
from the pesticides used on the fruit.
Research is now proving the case.

The corporations already knew this
fact, but they figured
it was a reasonable cost to pay
to keep the bananas bug-free.

Linda heard the news too.
She said her husband, Jesus,
lived on banana plantations
first in Hawaii where she met him

and later in Nicaragua.
His sperm have been killed
as if they were aphids or worms or thrips.
Thrips, for those who don't know,
have sharp mouths that can penetrate
and suck the life right out

of a banana flower or fruit or leaf.
I keep thinking about this story.
I wonder how they calculated the costs.
Healthy bananas vs. sterilized men.

Nin Andrews is the editor of a book of translations of the French poet Henri Michaux entitled Someone Wants to Steal My Name from Cleveland State University Press. She is also the author of several books including Midlife Crisis with Dick and Jane, a book of political poems written after the election of George W. Bush. Her book, Sleeping with Houdini, is forthcoming from BOA Editions.