I tell her that she’s as pretty as an October pear.
She looks at me like a disapproving schoolmarm.
I try to explain the lusciousness of the pome,
how its skin takes on the hue of autumn,
the firmness of its body, and how the floral ripe flesh
liquefies in my mouth. To prove my point, I press
my lips against hers like a schoolboy on a dare.
She’s still unsure, not fully trusting analogies or the raw skin
of desire, old as God’s dog, old as dirt. I watch her walk
away into a cold rain. She’d rather be anywhere than with me
because of the pear thing. She teaches me from a distance
that desire is passé, no longer chic. She sends me a pear
plucked from a tree in January, and I see the fruit
of her disfavor, and the reason she avoids that which
she can only see as selfish. Pressing my lips against
the desiccated fruit, dead from ever increasing
rounds of darkness, I taste the flesh of her disfavor,
like a schoolboy on a dare.
William R. Stoddart lives in Southwestern Pennsylvania and has published work in The New York Quarterly, The Writer, North Dakota Quarterly and other literary publications. His poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been published in Pedestal Magazine, The Lake and elsewhere.