Danusha Laméris, “Cherries”

If I could, I would reproduce a dozen poems from Danusha Laméris‘s luminous book of poems, The Moons of August. Poems about losing a child, about losing a brother, about horses, about trees, about reading; somehow all hanging together and making up a coherent volume about grief and loss and healing.

I first encountered her work at the AWP conference in Seattle last year, when she read for The Sun. I sat mesmerized, wanting to go someone to sit alone and write. So, I share this poem in the spirit of wanting to inspire you to write with me.

After much thought (and partly because it is so late in the day), I’ve decided to share just this one, very short poem. I hope it teases you just enough that you will look into her work. If you go to her website, you’ll find a link to Garrison Keillor reading her poem, “Fictional Characters,” which is one of the poems she shared when I first her read at AWP.

CHERRIES

The woman standing in the Whole Foods aisle
over the pyramid of fruit, neatly arranged
under glossy lights, watched me drop
a handful into a paper bag, said how do you do it?
I always have to check each one.
I looked down at the dark red fruit, each cherry
good in its own, particular way
the way breasts are good or birds or stars.
Doesn’t everything that shines carry its own shadow?
A scar across the surface, a worm buried in the sweet flesh.
Why not reach in, take whatever falls into your hand.

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