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I ate a poem today
after a long consideration
on how to prepare it
use ingredients at hand
or wait for another stage of ripeness
slice several soft spots away
or caress where the sweetness gathers

Its unfamiliar skin and mottled, shifting colors
gave no hints of the flesh within
should I refrigerate and eat it chilled
room tempered or warmed
would it be mango, or banana
to be mashed and cooked
if under or overdone
too far gone for raw yet salvageable

I peeled it with my fingers
sucked transluscent skin, juice ran
into my Franciscan saucer
put a cautious tongue to its body
and it dribbled on my chin

My tastebuds lit with tart pleasure
my incisors grew, my tongue elongated
to touch the flowered dish, I drooled

My stomach clenched from the swallowed bite
a little too much, a heavy stone dropped
into a deep well whose splash
is a distant song echoing
up from dark toward light

With one chew, saffron and chocolate
with another, passionfruit and lime
layers of fragrance unfolded
aromas thick textured blood wine

After the mess, I became fully divine
wing bladed shoulders, feet root tethered
though now third eyed and feathered

I felt succored, satiated, sublime.

Akua Lezli Hope's manuscript, Them Gone, won Red Paint Hill's Editor's Prize and will be published in 2016.  She won the Science Fiction Poetry Association's 2015 short poem award. Her awards include fellowships from NYFA, Ragdale, Hurston Wright and the NEA. She has published more than 100 crochet patterns.
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