Two Poems

It Doesn’t Get Better Than an Apricot in Damascus


My father recounts memories of swollen blossoms

hardening into surface, secret core, hills laced with

gold, assuring amber aroma feeding on the sun.


Now, my father sells apricots by the alleyway.

Constant construction: words painting over

images tracing over questions spilling


over crevices of sidewalks walking over my father

breaking English – he is the gentlest person I know.

When he comes home his hands are stained.


Sure, he cleans his fingernails every night but

some things do not wash away with the evening rain.

Sometimes I watch his neat shoulders,


slanted wrists, manoeuvring new familiarity.

Spine arching under crates, fruits, time; he jokes

I eat as much as he sells, slipping me the ripest.


Ah! – the sweet taste of summer gathering,

tautness of fine skin break, burst. Never mind

cavities deepening, I still dream of apricot kaymak.


My father dreams in Technicolor, reminding me that

we live in some while others are planted. He carries patient

yearnings in this city of soft velvet, so easy to bruise.


The meat of the fruit – chew, suck, swallow all the way

to the heart. Father, it is for you. I wish that it were

enough – trees do not grow far nor fast.


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