Slicing It Open

I want a fruit that cleaves
               as cleanly as butter, and if
                               its barbed skin

grates my lips with an animal
               scratch, no matter.

Give me one with salmon-
              colored flesh
                             even if its nectars

mask its burrs
                and snares.

Is there no succor
                in the bite that
                               lodges inside,

in the sound
               of a device

that could
                cut me, slowly
                                whirring to life?

Dilruba Ahmed’s debut book of poems, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2010 Bakeless Prize for poetry. Ahmed’s writing has appeared in Blackbird, Cream City Review, New England Review, New Orleans Review, Drunken Boat, and Indivisible: Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. Web site:

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