Maggie Blake Bailey

Arkansas Black

If you bite deeply, seeds cut across

white flesh like stars, each a rock

of bewilderment, a brown husk beneath

the tart promise of an Arkansas Black,

sleeve burnished, saved from fermenting

in the bee-thick haze of orchard rows

counting only the simple math of September.


Our back teeth ache in recognition, tongues

trace the first parcel of light branching

into constellations trapped inside our mouths.

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