DENISE PARSONS 

is author of the novel After the Sour Lemon Moon (2014). Her work has appeared in the journals KindredTaproot, and West Marin Review. She lives and works in San Francisco, California.


 

 

 

PEACHES
 

Like canned peaches, we

were sweet, portable,

and unworried

about expiration. Versatile

 

watching clay pigeons

fly, and applying

worms to hooks. You

 

cleaned our dirty mouths

with stiff napkins

dipped in ice water, and

took us out to dinner.

 

But our smooth skin

and lack of years

left us unready

 

for the desert,

and death, unable

to shoot to kill.
 


ROTTEN APPLES

 

Them.

I wanted to smash them,

like rotten apples.

 

WHACK --

with a mallet.

 

Because I,

I was a ripe tangerine,

with a bright orange peel.

 

Unblemished.

Sweet.

Pure.

 

And they,

they reminded me of

mushy and mealy things.

 

Old,

like God.

They were all knowing.

 

It must have been wonderful

to embody such wisdom.

 

Like Maman,

Louise’s giant spider.

 

But I didn’t care,

I doubted them.

 

And like a nasty little crab,

backed quietly into my corner.