by Abigail Kirby Conklin
When you cut into a kiwi fruit
kept in the fridge overnight,
sliding knife into furred skin,
things feel easier than they should.
It's as if, that whole time
you slept, the fruit had been warned
by forebears to wrap itself in firmness.
Lightning up, hair by hair,
until its whole was stretched
taut anticipation of the warmth
of your skin, the betrayal
of its paring blade, the shadow cast
by six-thirty-something morning light.
When you cut into a kiwi fruit left
out on the counter, however-
night spent blissfully ignorant
in the wash of upper Manhattan through
the screen of your kitchen window-
This fruit will not have been drawn
into the farce of numbness.
It will not give so easily. Flesh,
dimpling under the unkind point
of your steel, will raise an eyebrow.
One chance, it will be saying..
One chance. Consider the full
weight of your actions, balance precarious
as pain nudges closer to the surface
of a life. Do you know
what you are doing?
Do you know
what you will have done?