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In conversation with William Carlos Wiliams’s poem “This is Just to Say”

It was I who ate the plums in the icebox
and savored every second                          sickly sweet
nectar sluiced my tongue pregnant with want
for the welcome weight of                       hands holding
I won’t apologize for the                   grocery bag
shaped Rorschach blots bloated pits puncture
puce patchwork peach fuzz all
chapstick-slick sticker gun
i bet you would have liked them         the plums
all bruised-breast hand-picked 99-cents off
and yes the pomegranates were out of season
and yes the plums could have been         less bitter
because god knows the first
thing i want to do is clog my arteries with sweet nothings
and aren’t we a little too old to be
drinking from                 juice boxes you know
your mother called the other day she called you
bubelah and told me to tell you           we should eat
more i mean come on i could snap your birdbones
and toss them in the compost heap and so i let the static
swallow me whole till i’m nothing
more than plum pit



A performance artist, entrepreneur, and writer hailing from Staten Island, NY, Elizabeth is the 2022 NYC Youth Poet Laureate and the 2022 YPL Northeast Regional Ambassador/National Youth Poet Laureate Finalist. Her work is recognized by or featured at The New Yorker, PBS, the United Nations, the Apollo, Lincoln Center, NY1, Grist Magazine, the MacDowell Foundation, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Alliance for Climate Education, and more. You can find her on Instagram @elizabeth.shvarts and on her website wordsofliz.com.
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