Stacia M. Fleegal

The Avocado

Green, but not ready—
squeeze the black ones,
skin speckled like Braille:
pick me, pick me.

I mashed one in lemon
juice, garlic salt, forked
a bite for you. The seed—
abandoned with the peelings.

No knife sharp enough
to peel from my mind
the way you first tasted it,
thoroughly and long.

You liked it. You relished
the whole thing, your
calloused hands grabbed more,
cradled them like breasts,

sliced another, spoon-scooped
right from the rind until
the seed rolled in its skin
like a whole world.

I could’ve spoiled
waiting for you to examine
the hard crux of the fruit, waiting
for you to pick me, pick me.

Handle, Blade, Screw

You didn’t get your hair cut for five months.
Your usual fringe of close-cropped brown

reached to entangle my fingers—I touched
a new part of you, unknown to anyone,

and you allowed it, loved the way I’d work
your neck between the two halves of my hand,

pulling each curl straight. Then, like some Samson
of feeling, you came home from the barber

and cut me with cold indifference,

rendered us singular, ineffectual,

forgot the loops our arms made, the way

our middles had been riveted, roots in flesh.