A Taste

by Danielle Kessinger

Early morning walk and I hear a sound like rain
a flock of Ibis under a tree shedding flowers,
the impending storm the song of curved beaks
brushing the discarded blooms.

Last night you asked me if I worried
about the age of my eggs like they are something I can check the
expiration date on, reach inside and lay them out,
see the sell-by date is well past,
that it’s time to crack them open
before they become rot, before they become waste.

You asked me if I had accepted
I would never have a family, the sympathetic mask
wrapped tight against the blade of your cheeks.
I didn’t answer, had seen a squirrel on the fence
a red flower held to its mouth
teeth tearing at the base.
I take your children over to the vine
pick them each a blossom explaining the
the green not the petal is the edible part, a taste like honey,
while you argue with your husband over some small offense.

Days later, I am still thinking of your questions,
about words—loss and alone and acceptance,
but I can’t stay with it,
keep picturing birds amongst petals
keep hearing the rain of beaks in the grass.

About Danielle Kessinger

Danielle Kessinger has work published in Bartleby Snopes, the Drunken Odyssey, Baltimore Review, Burrow Press, and the anthology Jack’s Porch.  She has lived and written in the mountains of Colorado, North Carolina, Japan, Costa Rica, and California but sometimes still longs for the flatlands of Florida, the rivers and swamps she first called home.