by Hugh Miller

At the peak of summer, the people here turn into bears
on the day we realize
that the blackberries are ripe

bicycles lie beside the bushes and cars are parked
next to sunny, vacant lots that usually nobody comes to visit

blackberry: the practical sister of the glamorous rose
a factory weaving its blue-black sweetness in a nest of cruel thorns
as if it hated being thought generous and didn’t want to be bothered
by fingers and beaks and mandibles reaching like jewel thieves for the dark gems

red berries gleam a warning sign “Stop, all I have is bitterness”
and resist greedy hands like proud virgins

but the purple ones, like little jam fingerprints among the thorns,
drunk on their own sugar,
cooked by sunshine,
& yearning to drop their seeds,
sigh with pleasure as
they tumble
into
your mouth.

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