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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 4, December 2018

Rebecca Vedavathy
Hyberabad, Telengana, India

This Is to Ask You To

In response to William Carlos Williams’ poem "This Is Just to Say"

Imagine the mood of a pitted plum or better still the mood of the person whose plums William Carlos Williams ate from the icebox that fateful morning. Irritation would be her sobriquet. Her, because when I am miffed with you I become her. Waking up the morning after, to the loss of metaphorical plums. She is I.

She would've skipped past the smell of rising bread in the boulangerie to the farmer’s market where she was to find plums bleeding burgundy into the mouths of young children. White handkerchiefs deepening into the night sky. She was to bite into the fruit offered to her by the cheerful fruit vendor. Sweetness spilling over the chin of her longing. On reaching home, she would've stashed bunches of plums into the icebox.

a fishing hook —
holding her breath
for tomorrow

Come morning, glint in eye, Williams ate the plums. His scribbling hand not awakening her. When her eyes finally opened, before her a poem — so short and so clever.

the chafing
of her inner thighs ...
a burgeoning squall

But you don’t leave me a poem, instead in the crowded marketplace, you are this poem running down a flight of stairs, unawares, your face roughly tucked into the scenery of stanzas. For one moment our eyes — dots that connect the browned stems of plums savoured in secret. Later, in the alley behind the fruit seller, the estuary of our lips meet. Plums forgotten, plums stolen, plums sweet, plums swollen …



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