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Pitahaya

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Teach me a fruit of  your
country I asked and so you dipped
into a shop and in your hand
held me a thick yellow pinecone

no knife between us
you put it to your teeth
sideways like a bird and bit
and peeled away the fleshy
scales or were they petals

crisp white at the core
peppered with black seeds
sweet and light like a cold cloud
like some exotic sherbet carried
hand over hand from a mountaintop
by a relay of runners straightway
to the Inca’s high table

we sat on metal chairs
still pebbled with rain the seat
of my pants damp we passed it
back and forth no matter how
carefully we could not help

spilling the juice making
our cheeks sticky our fingers
getting sticky our fingers no
not even once touching

Source: Poetry (October 2013)

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This poem originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

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Pitahaya

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