Issue 20 | Fall 2018

Desert Fruit

for Jon Dennis

I hadn’t seen Jon in years but still recalled how his eyes sparkled
with a guitar in his hands that day in an elder’s cabin on Six Nations land.

I’d seen via Facebook omniscience that he’d graduated,
and fallen in love, and maybe left Kansas, or Nevada.

But then he posts that he misses her.
Even modern medicine can’t stop a pulse from flat-lining.

That was the same day one of the stray puppies
that people dumped like empty pop cans in the weeds
got splattered across the road
by a speeding vehicle.

Birds peck gashing holes into the fuzzy perfection
of the only miniature peach on the tree.
My son drops my favorite coffee mug on the tiles,
smashing it into irretrievable pieces.
I have to console him, sweeping him up from the puddle of shards.

The perfect roundness of his tear-washed cheek on mine –
we each eat a slice of unmarred sweetness
from the other side of the peach—
so bravely sprouted up in a region where peach trees
rarely thrive.

Because things that shouldn’t happen,

Filed under: Poetry

Lisa López Smith writes from her home in rural Mexico. When she’s not wrangling children or goats or rescue dogs, you can probably find her riding her bike. Her recent publications include Lacuna Magazine, Mothers Always Write, Sin Fronteras, CuiZine, and Animal Literary Magazine.