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cemetery plums :: jim tolan

by on October 18, 2012

One who would offer ripe fruit to the dead
as if knowing their desires, as if believing
desires still lived in them, would know
how tangible remains the memory of its juice

across the mouth and chin and sliding
along the tongue. Do not be misled.
The dead miss life more than we miss them,
their loss more than equal to our forgetting

and our grief. And a bowl of fruit offered
in their name returns to them as the memory
of a mouth rapt in joy around moist and living
flesh. Who among the dead does not long

for the sun-wet meat of smooth-skinned plums,
the bitter sweetness of each pitted heart?

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