Eating Seedless Watermelon [poem] by Jill Klein

I’m leaning over the small side
of the kitchen sink, the useless side
with the grout gone and water seeping
under the brown tiles, as I bite
watermelon flesh. It drips under my chin
so I lean in before the next, bigger bite
and remember another sticky sink,
also white and small, looking over a garden
in August. Melons then had pockets
of black seeds that Gramps and I took turns
spitting down the drain while the fireflies sang
and Nana sat knitting. One seed, escaping,
slid down my throat. I froze, my five-year-old mind
worried about something I’d heard about seeds
and babies that follow, but I decided to ask Mom
tomorrow, and asked Gramps for another slice.
Today’s melon is not as sweet, and the few seeds
are pale, and harmless.

***

Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

-refers from the word watermelon in Amorak Huey’s poem The Contortionist Twists the Bearded Lady’s Words & Things Get a Little Hairy Between Them

Jill Klein has been raising teenagers and volunteering for the past several years, after an earlier career as a corporate banker. She grew up in Kansas, then the Pacific Northwest, then moved to California for college (sight unseen). She stayed, and loves her engineering husband and adopted home in the heart of Silicon Valley. She has poems published, or forthcoming, in San Pedro River Review, Grey Sparrow Journal and The Centrifugal Eye.

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