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Prickly Pears

Violet’s Mexican mother

steeped her in the ages

old secrets of the desert.


It is late August

and the tunas

of the prickly pears


have reddened

to deep magenta

the Aztecs used as dye.


With the bottom

of a halved plastic bottle,

Violet twists the tunas


off the pads, dodging

the angel fuzz stickers

clustered on the skins,


so fine the wind

can dislodge and blow

them by the hundreds


into her eyes.  With tongs,

she turns the tunas

in a gas flame.


The stickers flare

and melt.  She peels off

the skin with a paring knife.


Her nostrils flare

with the sweet, pungent                                                                                                          

pulp of deep magenta.


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Larry D. Thomas

Jake & Violet

(Terlingua, Far West Texas)

an rhp electronic chapbook





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