settled in ceramic bowl,
they lay full ripe and succulent,
skins pressed against glazed sides of dish.
Ready to burst open, spill,
with slightest provocation,
to imbrue fingers, color mouths
of those who adore dark berries.
Content to wear midnight blue,
they consider themselves radiant,
and insist they are a hue
to which even blatant red must bow.
Not inclined to sweetness,
they revel in approaching tart,
and only when they fancy,
give consent to be plucked,
juiced, blended, crushed—
to allow their contents to be spread.
Opulent indigo orbs,
gathered to sate desire.
While anxious hordes
in crisp business whites,
give generous berth,
I scoop great handfuls,
eat, eager to be entirely stained.
~ Annette Hope Billings
Annette Hope Billings is an poet/actress/playwright, who has written two poetry collections. In 2015, she stepped away from four decades of nursing to writing full-time. Her most recent collection of poetry, A Net Full of Hope, was published last year, garnering her a readers’-proposed title of “Maya of the Midwest.”
Izzy Wasserstein is a Lecturer in English at Washburn University. Izzy is the author of the poetry collection This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, and has published in Crab Orchard Review, Flint Hills Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Izzy shares a home with Nora E. Derrington, a cat, and three dogs, and believes in the power of resistance.