Issue 21 | Winter 2019

There is a seam of dark in me but it glitters

Here’s a trick my mother used
to keep us from running wild at Giant Eagle:
Anything in the produce section,
we could have, so long as we ate it:
Starfruit, plantains, dragonfruit, lychee,
whole coconuts we hammered apart
in the driveway. The papayas
were long as my arm, heavy and alien,
green skin mottling to yellow,
their shapes absurd next to prim oranges
and apples. We laid down newspapers.
I pulled the carving knife from its cradle
in the block, knelt on the bench
at the trestle, and plunged in,
hacking through soft fruit till the halves
split open, coral flesh ragged
around a cache of seeds like caviar.
I could no longer remember why
I’d chosen it, why I’d been so hungry
to see inside. I pressed the halves together
along the jagged cut I’d made,
but the seeds spilled anyway, dark pearls
on newsprint, tiny universes.

Filed under: Poetry


Erinn Batykefer earned her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of Allegheny, Monongahela (Red Hen Press) and The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide (Coffee House Press). She served as co-founder and editor of The Library as Incubator Project 2010-2017 for which she was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.