Michelle Menting

Issue #
October 3, 2017

This is What It's Like to Slice Open

a rotted walnut, one

that fell from the tree

seasons ago, one

that’s been buried, buried

so deep, its shell is now

sculpted to earthly-brown,

still preserved: its outside,

still, right now, shut tight

to the outside. But slice it

open and it’s soft, so much

softer than one might think.

Pull apart its two palms.

Inside, where you think

it’s crumbled, it’s crumbled.

There are lines like paper cuts.

But the meat is pliable:

when you press the cracks

together, they seal.

They hug. Its shape lips

in your hand. The fruit,

freshly halved, sweetens

to the light. When you breathe

in slow, waking breaths—

the air has flavor

like hummingbird nectar,

like magnolia-infused rain.

But everywhere, there is sun.

But everywhere—on the cups of leaves,

on the blades of grass—

there are these drops of dew.

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