“The Green Season,” by Jennifer Beebe

The coroner asked if she drank, her throat swollen

to closing, front and back embracing the shape perhaps

of a mouth around a screw-top bottle, or lips sucking

juice from a too ripe pear. I could have told him

late afternoon worked best for her, lips to rim,

her arm from the window, yardarm, her armistice

with the day, the orange of her nails a slow tick of sins

along the window frame. I could have told him

we anchor ourselves by things seen, how late night

my father would come, taking her temperature

with a licked finger to the forehead, a concentrated

measure of essence and heat. Again and again

he bent to her, a steady bow of prayer, as if

he were bobbing for apples, or pears

ripe enough to sink his teeth into.


Printed with permission by Jennifer Beebe, copyrighted by Jennifer Beebe @ 2011. This piece first appeared in Issue No. 10 of the Los Angeles Review.

Author: A Room of Her Own

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