First published in Pinecone Review’s Be Proud With Pride edition
The woman lied to herself.
Said life is not had without hope,
Believing hope resided within her chest
Just under the bones,
As she remembered the taste
Of fresh apricots,
The sweetness of their juices
Bursting in her mouth,
The texture of their pulp
Playing against her tongue—
During the weeks of summer
In the year the earth awoke,
Stretching and yawning,
Turning as if
To bring sunrises closer
And hold sunsets dear—
That summer the girl,
Holding beating hope,
Emerged from the cracks forming
In the left side
Of the woman’s chest.
Thus, the woman who lied
About holding onto hope,
Crumpled and died,
Shriveled like the over-ripened apricots
On the ground beneath the tree in your yard.
The girl, holding hope, emerged
Laughing with joy at all the smiling
Universe seemed for once to offer up
In the taste of apricot flesh
And the sweet juice that quenched thirst
After years of waiting want.
The earth tilted back, turning once again,
Withdrawing from sunrise and sunset.
Then the apricots were gone.
Picked, fallen to the ground,
Nibbled by birds and squirrels.
The girl, who held hope,
Shrank down, curling into a fetal position,
Within the dead woman who lied
About having hope and who
Was now revived, resuscitated,
Like a cannibal feeding off a beaten enemy
Of faith, of pain, of living hope,
By the now shrunken head like girl,
Who had held beating hope
That could beat no longer
As the revived woman remembered
The taste, the feel of the flesh of fresh apricots.
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