Osoberry, Overripe – Paula Persoleo

There was only one the birds could not reach:
no longer golden or grassy, but perfectly
purple. I plucked you from the stem, rose
of another name, and stored your seed.

Once apart from your kin, your cherry-like skin
lost its false impression. Oh, your berry
seemed special, masked by the odiferous shrub.
But what use was there in isolating you?

Weeks have passed. You are soft, spongy,
wrinkled to the pit. I doubt your cyanide
would prove toxic when there is so little
to consume (even though the touch is bitter).

Let me boil you now, siphon that promise
of sweetness only the unwise bird seeks.

Paula PersoleoPaula Persoleo is a 2011 graduate of Stony Brook’s MFA program in Southampton, NY. Some of the poets she worked with include Julie Sheehan, Thomas Lux, and Michelle Whittaker. She currently is an adjunct at the University of Delaware and lives in Delaware with her husband.