by Janet Hanna

Someone had eaten the red plums.
Carefully, they had piled the skins
On the edge of the plate
And cleaned the seeds.
Some of the juice still clung
To the white plate
Like small, precious spots
Of dark guilt.
The blade of the knife
Had been wiped clean,
And was lying
On the other side of the table
As though trying to separate
The responsibility for its carnage
From its pleasure.
I cleaned the plate
And washed its soiled darkness,
But I didn’t touch the knife.
By Spring, its blade had rusted
And turned the color
Of yet another red plum.