maybe you were just juggling fresh fruit in a farmers market.

maybe you didn’t know what happens when you harvest too soon.

maybe you didn’t pull me off the vine before I was ripe.

Or maybe you thought it was neat the way it looked when I exploded across the kitchen floor the night you threw me down.

Or maybe you were thinking eating vegan would be deeper if the fruit was bruised.

You picked me out of the garden like a page ripped out of a coloring book.

I held my breath so you could paint me still life, and then you carved me open.

You used charcoal instead of pastel.

You burned the edges of the page and drowned the rest in water color.

You rubbed exacto knives along my skin because it added texture and the color of blood is so hard to create when you’re just mixing paints.

I begged you to color me all the way in

The first time you peeled my skin open and cut into me with your teeth I wondered what I taste like.

You buried my heart in a bowl of fruit after the beating and watched through a cloud of citrus-stung air while it browned in the sun. You weren’t hungry for my body, you were a vegan after all.

But, baby, there is milk fat dripping down your mustache

And I can only swallow so much dairy before you dare me to backwash

And, baby, bruised fruits don’t float in glasses of milk like ice cubes.

So, hit me.

Hit me so hard my skin goes dark, so I can sink to the bottom.

You said still life is for the untouched and you’ve touched me so much no one would ever plant roots with me.

So, baby, hit me.

Hit me so hard my skin goes dark so I can sink to the bottom and dream of the day my fruit-bruised fists find the lining of your skull.

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