Every November, Persimmons by Leanne Dunic

Poem title: Every November, Persimmons Poet: Leanne Dunic Poem: Split: a star-like reflection. Flesh like the fire-belly of a newt, only since coming here each autumn have I taken to swallowing firm fresh mouthfuls, the jam-insides of others sun-dried. Valleys fold, mountain. Branched, bambooed, deciduous tomb-embedded slopes. Crimson vines retain another cemetery. Train penetrates overlong tunnels to reach where the river tumbles and gravestones are made. He’s always there, waiting. Carts my luggage up narrow metal stairs. The mechanics of each other’s language rusted. Before dusk, we savour persimmon cakes in the square of a ginkgo-gilded park. He peels skin, slices hard-petaled tops, leaves stem to tie into curtains of orange strung to bamboo poles. As they dry he honeys their flesh with his touch, readying their pulpy jelly inside. Dried, they can keep for nearly a year. November. Happy Birthday. A single shrunken offering. Its malleable body crusted with white crystals. End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Leanne Dunic Previously published in (Kyoto Journal, 2016) Leanne Dunic is a multidisciplinary artist. She’s the fiction editor at Tahoma Literary Review and the leader of the band The Deep Cove. Her book of lyric prose and photographs, Wet, is forthcoming with Talonbooks in Spring 2024. Leanne lives on the unceded and occupied traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.