Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Caught in a Conundrum of What He Knows about Food, Sexy Questions His Nerves

Because he was once The Produce Man, Sexy
can both wake early and read ripeness: squeeze

the nectarine; push the flavor button
on the cantaloupe and smell; look for the black streak

thundering from the watermelon’s belly button.
Because he can read fruit, he too can anticipate desires.

Monday, June 13th, I will want honeydew. Thursday,
August 20th will be a mango day—elbow drippings,

agitated knuckles. Sunday, the avocado.
Ripeness is the dictator of Sexy’s pantry.

Some things need time to sweeten, he reasons,
X-ing out yesterday’s grapefruit with a stolen grease pen:

prosciutto, pecorino, limoncello. But then there’s fish,
whose lively gills give me hunger for freshness;

scallop—sorbet of the sea. This is Murietta’s world—
as fast as you can, taste it. But what if

she’s falling from the tree? What if she’s rotting
on the rocky shore? I am no eye-eating crab,

no malingerer of squishy fruit. I am still
The Produce Man: Friday, November 21st, her hands

tell me she will fall in love.
But in love, how does one tell the fruit from the fish?  end

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