Poetry: Tim Mayo

Blackberry Poems

Consider a small canon of them: all plump with their
fruity possibilities, the absent underlying bitterness
to the sweet taste they sing and the inevitable accusatory
stain always found somewhere on a body part; how
the instrumental birds and bees are never present,
though an undercurrent sweeps through the words,
and the prickers always seem to stand at attention
guarding against the poet’s hunger. How everything,
which hints of the lush, seems deliciously forbidden.

Now consider the blackberry seed, itself, and
the long heated afternoon you will spend, and on,
into the dark juice of evening and night, prying at
the wedged pressure of the seed exerting itself
between the ivories of your smile, then consider
how you could carry in your mouth the very kernel
of that discomfort, mulling it over like a pearl, but
still leave it out of your one addition to that canon––this
one little seed that makes the blackberry blackberry.