At the fruit stand

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sit the hardbacks, so sure about themselves
and the softcovers, so sure about not getting

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ahead of themselves. Having mastered tweezers
who minds a splinter or two every now and then?

I’ve since gone on to trace the mouths of baskets,
an eye on the marginal produce.

Should I point out the sheen on these
tell me “they’re insightful”

don’t say “don’t be fooled”
your smile ready but incomplete.

Are you false-modest or came the harvest
so hard on you? Melons bulging against the column

mangoes incapable of gold, the rash on your arms

throbbing or seeming to throb, my longing for you
unrequited—spread out neatly, however—and without remorse.

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