Laura McCullough


I eat a clementine and kiss
my youngest son. Peaches,
I tell him, what mother
couldn't love you? My
tongue can't betray me.
It senses fruit waiting
to be bruised, crushed
into salvation. I cut him
small fruit: banana,
fig, kiwi, tell him not
to be afraid. Try it; try
everything. Your tongue
will guide you. Let it lead
you to countries, trees,
brambles so thick you
fear you might not ever
get home. I'll be there,
waiting, my tongue blue
and sodden as if I'd been
foraging in a field of ripe
huckleberries, a place
you'll find yourself when
you know you've been loved
like the rain loves the sky
it falls from. The words
my tongue forms are potent
and firm as the blueberries
he bursts in his mouth,
laughing, amazed, grateful
for every possible thing.

Location: outside Atlantic City, NJ
Occupation: Faculty member in the English Dept. at Brookdale Community College
Publications: Faultline, Exquisite Corpse, Slant Review, Pierian Springs, Tarpaulin Sky, Whimperbang, Poetry Motel, etc.
Awards: NJ State Arts Council fellowship, full Dodge Foundation Scholarship to work at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown
Other: MFA from Goddard College

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