V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




The man who sells fruit
from a stand on the corner
of York and Sixty-Eighth has
a name you can’t pronounce
and is so long that if you stood it
up on its last letter it would be
several inches taller than he is.
Today he has grapefruit the size
of softballs the kind your mom used to
pitch to anyone starting a diet;
apples perfect for teachers desks,
and watermelon cut into boats
with passengers of pits and dark
blueberries filling small green
baskets like periods the school
up the street is using to stop sentences.

He grabs a Crenshaw melon, takes
out his pocket knife and cuts
into it pulling out a slice that sits
like a smile in his hand. You agree
how ripe it is as he cuts a bigger
grin out of a cantaloupe and says
it’s the color of the sun then gives you
a piece to sample. It is sweet,
tastes like the sky and is the color
of the sun when it warms your back
and makes you turn to watch it melt
over the high rises and melt down
over their sides on Seventy-second Street.
He then sells you the best melon
he can find and in a few minutes
you will be home relaxing, waiting
for your wife to return as the sun sets
next to a bottle of wine
in your refrigerator.



© by Kevin Pilkington


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