Buy Local

Heirloom tomatoes—they don’t travel. Swiss
chard, muskier and more bitter than
varieties on offer from the replicator.
Fresh crusty bread baked hours ago. Microbes
hand-engineered to alter the pH
of valley soil for strawberries. Wind chimes
and lawn sculptures cut from the weary steel
of the old spaceport, embellished with blown glass
re-melted from windows that once weathered vacuum.
Vanilla-scented candles, dipped in the wax
of his segmented body by a chandler
with roots here deeper than most humans’. Tiny
dinosaurs, bright-feathered, fresh-exhumed
from genes inferred from bones that settled here
between the first extinction and the third.
Custom entheogens, tuned to the sonic
and chromatic spectra of the heathered field
where new minds first visited the village—
designed to reproduce the thrill of learning
that there are new conversations to be had.
Didactics to instruct the eager brain
on quiddities of gardening for the region—how
to fend off pests, to damp the ill effects
of radiation from the spars of ships
thrown down the gravity well in the skirmish
locals call “the fireworks back then,”
to program a guard drone to stalk and shoot
the “jackalopes” as big as direwolves
that spirit away radishes and babies.
And bitter melon from the Chinese farm
that has been here for centuries—almost
as long as those red migrants spirited
away from their red ziggurats, their calendars
of stone, their breeders’ slaughter—the tomatoes.

Matt Weber