by Meg Yardley
1. You need a sharp-pointed spoon.
You hunt through the bins at Goodwill,
settling spoons into each others’ hollows,
counting out sets of rose-trellised forks
you don’t need, training your eye
to seek out something serrated.
2. You hollow the pulp out of each section.
You leave the membranes intact.
3. You didn’t set out to eat a grapefruit;
they just started arriving on your doorstep weekly.
Your partner makes a face when you offer
the coral-colored juice: it needs sugar.
You delight perversely in that wince, a reminder
of how much sour you can stand.
4. There will be splatter.
You’d better move your daughter’s homework
off the table. The 400-page biography
will go back to the library with its pages speckled,
crisp white paper damp and relaxed.
5. Eating a grapefruit absorbs
attention. You can try to do the crossword
or write a poem about eating a grapefruit
while eating a grapefruit
but soon you find you haven’t filled in a letter
in five minutes, you’re luxuriating in bitter
liquor, this one thing.
6. Yesterday you set some nectarines on the conveyer belt—
the cashier passed them over her scanner, paused
to inhale with half-closed eyes—
but they seem to be gone so quickly.
Only the grapefruit—its untidy treatment,
its yielding flesh,
its bright and biting flavor—
only the grapefruit lingers.