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Hesperidium, by Joshua Gage

“A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit.”
–Archibald MacLeish

This poem does not wait to be eaten
or furred viridian. This poem plucks
itself before the blossom goes
to seed, experiments with gravity.
Petals lick the wind. It lands
on your shoulder with secrets to trill.

The bowl on the kitchen table rests, empty.
There is no rind to stain your palms
with a hint of tart perfume, no juice
to sting your paper cuts. Only the cries
from the crib of this page, succored by your reading.


Joshua Gage is an ornery curmudgeon from Cleveland. His newest
chapbook, blips on a screen, is available on Cuttlefish Books. He is a graduate
of the Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Naropa University. He has a penchant for Pendleton shirts, Ethiopian coffee, and any poem
strong enough to yank the breath out of his lungs.