A Molt in the Afternoon

By Anna Vail

I have my red fruits to eat today, in time for your going.
All peel and pile with a

Wet look and a wet feel.

It is enough to swallow one, two, even three

And I’ve got nothing to do with loss.
Only a taking off,

Their quick becoming – they are.
But no loss, I say,

Not this long day.

A mewl here, there,

And the pile takes the pit, the second,

The third, a very many parts.

All heaps and heaps in a shift that gives way and
Gives away.

The kind to mind well,

To give name to and watch.
Just a tilt in the heart where I
Wanted. I did,

I’ll admit.

I thought I’d get another ghost,
Another quiet mouth for a hot year.
And so I have, let’s say.

But it is not you, just the fruit,
Just a molt in the afternoon.

A lot of loss, then, I’ll take what I can get.