the plum poem

“Noah’s roommate’s absence was noted only by the lack of keys aggressively clacking in the second bedroom of their shared apartment. A poet otherwise unemployed, the roommate was seldom away from the apartment. Noah now gloated in the singular silence, eager for a night uninterrupted by the hostile typing and unintelligible shouts of frustration that haunted the second bedroom. He couldn’t care less about where the roommate was or what he was doing, content only in his ability to walk around sans pants and slouch on the sofa with a slew of old horror VHS’s and whatever junk he could scrounge up from the apartment’s negligible kitchen.
As the tape was rewinding, Noah poked around in the (admittedly barren) cabinets and heavily contemplated another night of takeout, wondering idlily as he did about the contents of the fridge. The fridge, otherwise as barren as the kitchen cabinets, contained only a handful of plums. Noah rarely bothered to keep fresh fruit in the apartment at all, but the plums, most likely his illusive roommate’s, glowered at him from the corner of the fridge with an allure both unusual and unparalleled. The shine of the fridge light glowed on the soft skin and he feverishly pictured, for a moment, the crimson juice running cool down his chin. He craved it like an ache.
Mouth watering, takeout forgotten, Noah snatched the plums, cradled them in his arms, and sunk to the cold laminate of the kitchen floor. With his limbs splayed across the floor and his heart beating a vicious threat in his chest, he sunk his teeth into the flesh of the first plum. It was as he had pictured; cold, crisp, ripe to the tilted edge of spoiling with a juice sticky-sweet and dark enough to stain. Another, and then another, frantically, and then his head began to muddle and mix with the staccato pattern on the cheap ceiling. His breaths came shallow and stilted as he continued to eat, surrounded now by crimson juice painted starkly on the off-white of the laminate. An absent voice sliced through the hum that had begun to run through Noah’s body and the darkness that followed, but his singular thought remained: I have eaten the plums, and they were…delicious.”

Monica Robinson is an experimental poet. She recently published EARTH IS FULL; GO BACK HOME, a poetry collection that combines the weird and the wild. Monica currently resides in Philadelphia with her girlfriend, her husky, and her collection of approximately 952 books, all crammed into one small apartment.

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