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No Apologies

Sheree Greer

When it burst open against the ground

I winced.

You never move suddenly

You always plan

An umbrella, an extra pair of shoes

Cradling the small melon in your arms

You wouldn’t let me carry it. Wouldn’t let me see you cry.

“I got it,” you said.

I watched you raise then release

Drops of wet like reverse rain

Pale pink on white and wheat, splotches on tanks and khaki fronts

Shapes that have no name

Geometry confuses

Reason ruins romance

Pieces perfect and deep red

Beady eyes stare up at us amazed.

“I’m sorry,” you said. “I don’t have a knife.”

Planted in green grass

Watermelon Woman between us

Promise sticky on our fingers, lips, and chins.

There are three things you never have to apologize for:

Love, tears, and breaking open fruit the best way you know how.

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, Sheree L. Greer is a writer and educator currently living and working in Tampa, Florida. She founded Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of black women and women of color writers. She is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and Black Lives Matter-inspired A Return to Arms, a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers, and a student writing guide, Stop Writing Wack Essays. Her latest essay, "Bars" published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sheree teaches composition, creative writing, fiction workshop, and African American Literature at St. Petersburg College in Florida.

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