Textures and similes abound as we select summer fruit,
sniffing the aromas of the produce aisle as eagerly as spaniels,
squeezing the juicy red heft of tomato, solid and round,
velvety apricots, lemons like handfuls of sunshine,
and the pocked red hearts of strawberries.
Fruit shades seem truer than paint samples
and crayon colors, and harder to reproduce:
The red and green mottled skin of an apple,
pale, mealy crescents of banana.
their leathery skins like speckled snakes.
Downy green kiwis are stippled with seeds like blackheads.
the sweet golden moons of peaches and the sunset orbs
of nectarines mingle in the blue bowl, waiting to be consumed.
The sweetness of their scent is heady and rich, syrupy juice
dripping summery stickiness.
Oranges resemble miniature suns,
bright paper lanterns strung for a garden party.
Bruise-colored plums, bitten and bleeding,
fruit peels like citrus-scented leather, the crunch of grapeskins,
and spongy bowls of grapefruit halves with hearts of rosy pulp.
The great boulder of watermelon awaits its execution.
Its green beetle-shell is striped like malachite. Cleaved open,
it will reveal its damp center like a geode, studded darkly with seeds,
to be devoured by tongues streaked violet with blueberries,
their fingers bloodstained with berry juice, freshly-picked.
Potatoes tumble from burlap sacks,
heaped like speckled stones, laying
damp and cool in my hand, their heft
weighed in the paleness of my palm.
Ancient skin is scratched and scarred,
punctuated with moles and liver spots.
The peeler scrapes away the epidermis
of coarse brown paper, revealing gold,
like ore damply shaken from a miner’s pan.
The glint of wielded steel, deftly separating
the toadlike complexion from the prize within.
The brown rind peels away like curling ribbon,
exposing yellow flesh punctured by thumbprints.
The wet-grass scent of freshly-shaven potatoes
bobbing in a bowl like a children’s game, watery
submersibles left to float, like seals in a rookery.
The piled parings resemble rhinoceros hides:
The satisfaction of mounding vegetable peels
heaped like pine straw, the pile of potato skin
strewn like gift wrap on Christmas morning.
The methodical scrape of the peeler as it shreds
the brown tree-bark roughness like scaling fish.
Metaphors abound, similes curling into the air
above as the potatoes slowly fill the empty bowl.
The tea was bitter with betrayal.
Their knowing eyes met across the table,
among the sugar tongs and strawberries.
Blackflies lingered over the sugar cubes,
waved away by impatient hands.
The spoons rang against the teacups with
a chime like church bells. The ice clatters,
catching light like glaciers in a sepia sea,
melting fast under the steady eye of the sun.
The rising steam unfurls to meet the sky,
evaporating like a jet’s contrail overhead,
its warm scent drifting against perfumes.
Smiling over sandwiches, his wife stirs angrily,
Her jaw strained taut with furious hostility.
The teasing frisson of electricity leapt
between their mingled fingertips. Concealed
beneath the tablecloth, She tickled his ankles
with her painted toes, her sandals abandoned
in the grass. A cool green afternoon awash with
light, drifting tendrils of windblown hair and
laughter like wind chimes, bone china gleaming
against her vermillion fingertips. The strawberries
bleed against the porcelain. The world is green and
expectant. The leaves shiver in the breeze, throwing
shadows on stippled bark. The fresh-peach scent of
the bower sweet as the summer nectar of sweat-damp
sheets, a strand of hair stark against the pristine pillow.
Her legs are crossed decorously beneath the whiteness
of the napkin stained with the blown kiss of Her lipstick.
The sunlight illuminates her shape through the voile
of Her summer dress like stained glass, lit from within.
He lingers in the curve of Her neck, kissing its white
softness and murmuring in Her ear. They whisper into
the wind, stealing secret moments of breathless
conversation, fingerpainting their linked initials on the
sweating glasses and smearing them clean. The civility
of convention, the pouring of the steaming pot, leaves
unfurling. The crystal click of ice cubes clattering in
the topaz tea, sugar swirling like sand, the sharpness
of citrus filling the air. The long spoons catch the light,
winking at their duplicity. His wife worries the teabag with
a spoon, watching the water darken. The broken shards
of their relationship cannot be repaired with decorum
and cups of tea, pallid weapons against the calculating
sensuality of Her smile, as ripe and overt as summer fruit.
Ripe fruit dangles overhead like ornaments
tucked amidst shining leaves, greenly-scented,
dappling the lawn like an underwater sun.
Stumbling over the sharp stones of fallen apples
strewn among the tousled carpet of grass,
stems bitter with sap snapping under the weight
of their solid green heft, rustic baskets filling
with plops and thuds, and the mingled shades
of green: the green boulders of fallen apples
nestled in the roughness of damp grass;
lawn and leaves and piled fruit, crisply bitter
and running juice, bittersweet and glowing green.