Peter Magliocco 

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The Spoiled Plums

To leave her apartment then coldly
In such a hurry, a sink full
Of dirty dishes with food crumbs
Caking to flowered porcelain
Left under a leaking faucet,
Just morose tokens
For an unfinished meal.
The scene of my mother's
Abandoned apartment when
The paramedics took her
To the hospital for the last time.
I've come to clean it days later.
A sad task, she lived alone,
A widow for so long
Her ritual chores were done
With great difficulty in extremis.
I feel her presence, nonetheless,
Inhabiting the kitchen counter
I sweep clear of fruit
She left in mid-meal.
Those decaying remnants for
A metaphysical feast of shadows,
Whose odor infiltrates the days'
Residual air of past longing?
Her purpled plums in disarray,
Now bruised by blackness, uneaten,
Encroach something once edible
With invisible rings of the worm
Her own cremated flesh frustrated.
So many strands of her long gray hair
Yet clung to the carpet's shag,
Enough copious to weave an empty nest.

I am hungry, Mother.


Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, NV, where he's edited the lit-zine ART:MAG for over 25 years. He's been Pushcart nominated for poetry a few times, and has a new forthcoming chapbook, The Still Birth of Beauty, from Red Bird Chapbooks. His next sci-fi novel, Splanx, will be published by Moon Willow Press in 2013-14.