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The following poem was written by a prior contributor to The Fairfield Review, following a reading of Kelli Willingham's story, A Memoir Untitled, which appears in this issue. Art truly does beget art. --egh

by Anonymous

The moment she began to read aloud
the thumbnail bit into the juicy skin, just to the end of the peel,
releasing a sticky mist of redolent memory,
arousing the senses.

She continued, painting a world far away from any I'd lived but
briefly visited,
brimming with people I knew but never met,
pulling away sections of the outer skin until all was
stripped away.

As the plot took shape, in her lyrically Southern meandering voice,
she separated the sections within,
splaying them open like a
blossom that opens up towards the
And as each character developed, speaking and moving towards
the climax of the story,
the juice ran freely and I
sucked each separate portion dry
on my thirsty tongue,
pinching out the sweetness,
swallowing the wholeness only after each small drop of understanding
had been fully extracted.

She finished, though not yet at the end…
My hands and face were sticky with the
delight of the succulent, life-affirming fruit she had
shared with us, and
my longing for the
of mind and essence

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Document last modified on: 08/09/1997

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