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December 2023

First Plums

Those plums, their summering, skin fleshy, deep

purple and yellow, that first surprise bite,

the shiver of tart-tonguing, the longing 

for more, and her gnawing need nursed bone-dry,

every juicy bit, until the pit crossed,

blocked her throat, a strangling starfish, until

her father noticed, until he flipped her 

upside down, swung her around, her burning

shoulders, how many thwacks, sharp intake of air,

her startled cries. Breathe, he sobbed, please do breathe.

The tears, hers and his, running together. 

For days, shoulders shook, shuddered, his and hers. 

For days, he watched her. For years she was lost

to plums. He sank down and down. For years

he was too lost to save. She learned to eat 

carefully, slowly. Taking her time.

Angie Minkin

Minkin photo.jpeg

Angie Minkin is a San Francisco-based poet whose work has been published in Birdy, Loch Raven Review, The MacGuffin, Rattle, and  others. Her chapbook, Balm for the Living, was published in 2023. 

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