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22 Sep 10

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Cherries

My first time in your house – different from ours –
wide-arched hallway, Persian rugs, antique urns,
we, flushed intruders, skiving the last hours
 
of school – Physics, and magnetic force patterns:
how the filings had leapt into linking tracks,
plotting North to South fields of attraction
 
across thin paper sheets. You turned the locks
and drew the curtains so we’d not be seen,
but in that dusk room, lined with leather books,
 
the cherries in their china bowl still shone
like rubies. I’d only tasted Maraschinos –
speared, lipstick-bright in Babycham;
 
these were French Burlats: blood-red globes,
plump on dark stalks, ripe for taking. One by one
we ate them, testing smooth skin in our mouths,
 
breaking into the flesh, teasing out the stones,
kissing them, picked clean, into each others’ palms.

Marion Ashton

published in earlier version in Seam, Issue 29, November 2008