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Kieron Walquist

Maturing

I handshake branches:

in a wake of wings, wild

plums plunge to my feet. I pick

sweet fruit the pink-purple-blue

of a bruise, + t-shirt full,

I come home

to make myself wine

(+ remember you).

I leave the skins dirty

for their yeast, squeeze

them in both palms,

tempted to drink. To lick

my wounds, myself clean.

I pluck their pits

for they’re poisonous,

then add gallons

of well water. Melt an iceberg

of sugar. Let the juices

ferment for two, three

weeks. Maybe this will taste

good. Won’t be too acidic

or weak. But I won’t know

(hadn’t known) until

the end. I siphon

wine from the carboy

(like I did you, boy,

in your car, your

hand in my hair,

dried wildflowers

on your dashboard)

+ spit, catch the rest

in clear glass bottles.

(We make nothing

that lasts.)

 

Kieron Walquist is a queer, neurodivergent writer and MFA candidate at Washington University in St. Louis. His work appears / is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Puerto del Sol, Swamp Ape Review, and others. He lives in Missouri as a hillbilly.

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