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D. Meeks

Bing Cherries, Purple Plums

Anatomy, Pathology, this building reeks of death.


Long past the sudden reaching for breath,

The astonished grunt or surprising sticky warmth

They lie, a hand, a foot, a gleaming eye

Dreaming within its clever fringe of lash.


The dark comes on so early now.

We skitter across the parking lots

Keeping our thighs together,

Holding ourselves with our own arms

In damp November chill.

We are so frail.


I need summery arms, sure and alive,

The scent of Sea and Ski,

Your mouth, what it must have,

Your voice, that wordless growl.

The twist of urgency, your face

Hard against my brow.


Summer will come, oh, say it will

With those heaped stands beside summer roads

Gleaming cherries, mounds of grapes, purple plums

All the tight-skinned fruit that bursts and runs

And we will have sun and sun and Queen Anne’s lace

And violins and metal drums


And we will not remember

This dank, basement November scent

Down where the air is bad.


Formaldehyde, formaldehyde, when did these lungs know breath?

Pathology, Anatomy, these pickles stink of death.


Moist and breathy, sticky-handed, patting

The wind swung around, last night.

The porchscreens are disconsolate.

The Gulf breathes thicker air and gives off mist.

The cutweeds sway and list and sibilantly break

Beneath this strange assault.


Ah, hell.

We were so strong

Pajamas inside our jeans

All winter long, cursing this broken house

Bulwarked against the north.


But who could fight off this pitiless unknowing?

This incessant, soft demand?


Damp and busy

Persistent as a two-year-old

The wind swung around in the false dawn, today.


The Gulf breathes heavily. The house

Leans, groaning, into the north.

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