Late summer vines

gnarl heavy

above my head;

my fingertips,

stained fuchsia, itch

for musky,

thick-skinned grapes.

I pop bronze-pelted


between my teeth

as you slide

calloused hands

around my hips

and whisper

in a language


as their names–

Black Beauty,

     Vitis rotundifolia, Alachua

Sugargate, Muscadinia,



Below your botanist slang,

I know the muscadine–

how tough ebony splits,

exposing silky underbelly.

Slick juicy pulp

pirouettes translucent,


like your taste,

deep as porphyry

in my mouth.


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