Abilene

Susanne Reece

1,787.7 miles north northeast

and 50 years later, I am in a supermarket.

In a small crate, the apricots are nestled

between the first Jersey peaches and the plums,

and even under this cold artificial light,

I can tell they are still too hard and green.

I take one in my hand, raise it to my nose.

Even in late summer here, when they’re blushed

red from the sun, they taste the way the one I hold now

smells, like nothing.

I want them to taste of summer in Texas and 90 degrees

before noon, like the light in a backyard filtered through

leaves of a tree heavy with fruit.

I want her hands, the age mine are now, to fold

around mine, to show me again

how they split apart at the seam when ripe.

Just use your thumb like this. See?

I squeeze the fruit gently, testing, knowing

even as I put it in the cart, it will disappoint, but hoping

anyway, maybe. Maybe this will be the one

that gets close enough.

Susanne Reece is a Texan-New Yorker, writer, illustrator, and visual essayist. She holds an MFA in Visual Narrative from School of Visual Arts. Her work has appeared in REDINK Poetry Comics, Delirious Hem, and is forthcoming in No Tokens.