Interior Image

Angela A. Bickham

Years: 2000, 2002




                        Clarissa has since learned

that her grandmother cut her tomatoes wrong.

She’d never lay

the fruity vegetables on the table and slice them

                        so each piece would fall

like dominoes atop each other.


Many a time Clarissa watched

her grandmother’s aged left hand hold a tomato

                        like a soft ball pitcher

while her just as aged right hand slid a knife

toward her body –

each tomato slice laying motionless atop each other

                        as if still whole but

waiting to be spread around the edge of a pretty plate.


                        Clarissa never worried

about blood mixing with tomato juice –

blood was never an issue.

Her grandmother cut her tomatoes with a precision

                        Clarissa, back then, admired.

Watching her grandmother, Clarissa learned to aim

a knife toward her belly

and emerge with an inviting presentation.