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Barbara Ras

Barbara Ras

Barbara Ras is the author of the poetry books The Last Skin, One Hidden Stuff, and Bite Every Sorrow, which won the Walt Whitman Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She has received grants from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations. She lives in San Antonio, where she directs Trinity University Press.

How After Decades First Love Resembles Fruit

The horizon reddened and the bananas wilted
From the inside out until their skin
Took on nightfall. Desire was in the air,
As always, and memories whispered
To one another under the tree, the one recently
Topped in a last resort against rot.
It would be easier than you think to stalk
The old boyfriend, the one you imagine
Aching that he didn't let you beg him back, still
Living in the home town on Buzzard's Bay,
But what if you found him dead or born again or worse still
Fat and happy about it in a city letting itself go
To the dogs, but no dog would ever steal
The historical marker off your North Street house,
Never sell it as scrap metal to get a piece of crack,  
And what if he—the old boyfriend—was melting
Or just said close your eyes and kissed you
Until most of your past peeled away and time flew
With the speed of the javelin he once threw
To set a record that Google in the middle of a daft night
Tells you he still holds, unbroken, which is just the same
As the broken record you keep repeating, recalling
That unspent lust, gale warnings off the coast,
Or just another bunch of bananas
You'll buy and leave on the counter uneaten, but toss
Out just before the fruit flies make themselves at home.


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