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Iona Mandal

You always reminded me of peaches.
I remember how you opened your mouth
To devour one
Your lips awakening sleeping cities
Where cannibals wrote poetry
About pomegranate necklaces
And crows waited on rooftops
For dusk to dawn upon them

Your rusty metal wind chimes in the garden
Where we used to eat peaches on deck chairs
Still remind me
Of our bones clashing together in a fight
About some petty thing
Like forgetting
To take blood pressure pills

When you had cancer
I bought you those double cotton pillows
With money from your niece’s old piggy bank
To prop you up high
So I could keep refilling the bowl
We bought before marriage
With peaches

You even coined a phrase
I say every day to myself
To cheer me up
Instead of “I’m over the moon!”
You said “I’m over the peaches!”
And I cried when you said that
Because, I thought,
I thought, you meant
You liked apricots more.


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