Tend

We are the fruits of our labour

Time Flies (1929)- Frida Kahlo

And we are the fruits

of our labour;

where once I tried being sweet

is realisation no effort was

required. I asked you to kiss me

(hard) so as to take

as the lemon against your teeth

all that is bitter; sharp tastes of truth,

this lasting tang, telling me the bitter

on my lips was all you, where I

am an abundance of fruits.


The apple sits between my teeth

where I confess I lied

when I wrote

‘until I see you again’

when I no longer seek the dew drops of

your lips. Truths are what I tell others

when my legs part as the segments

of a clementine for them. Sweet, wet,

gentle to separate, coarse as orange skin

clothes peeled, vitamins exchanged,

as progress is made.


You spat my seeds out, lest

they took root in your soil,

equal parts acid and mineral as it is.

The earth of your ground was never

strong enough for the weight

of fruit: only able to bear the blossom

in the spring.

There was regret, of course. It was long,

slow. Far, far gone, washed down the garden path

were my little brown promises. They are so easily kept,


if watered enough; not petted

with tears down my telephone line each week

at 1 am. It is September again, and it rains

as it did last year, summer fruits coloured

grey. You were on my bed, tarot deck

spread beneath thin hands, rain splaying

the window: gentle slaps. And I put my hand

in your periphery, to entice you to take it. Your

hair was the right colour then, dark as earth.

If there was a place for you on my single now


your hair would be the bitter lemon of your

heart, rotten sunshine in curls; absentee

gardener, infrequent to tend. New clothes,

change of colour. A new lover too, his name

Florida, though I saw the love between you both

was Norway.


You don't sit here.

This September it rains

and it is less sad that you are not here.

I will write you my last, resist making it an epic

(you have denied us that), a poem of supposes

and lost fruits. Suppose, suppose, suppose.

I suppose you think this means

I still love you in some way.

You think wrong.

Our love can be found on an amazon page


eternal under the name of a dwindling forest;

appropriate still. Remembered, once mourned

and sold, pages I doubt you will bother

seeing. It is okay. We were love, the tipping

of spring into harvest, which would lay sacks

of citrus at the bare feet of running children.

You left the garden gate ajar, and the dust

and the beasts left the ground in ruin. I swing it

gently shut, pocketed house keys resting against

a pouch of seeds. The orchid on my window,

unbearing of fruit, dies. Grows a new self.


I know you will remember me

(I am hard to forget.) I know

regret is the taste of pink grapefruit's

false seduction. I know it will linger still

on the roof of your mouth, while I

can only taste the linger of lemonade,

no longer spilt on your forgetful mother's

kitchen floor. Store bought. Sugary.


And not yours.

christopher sturtivant
christopher sturtivant

I'm a poet & writer studying in Nottingham. I love Frida Kahlo, my dog and not-shutting-up. I hope you find something in my poetry. My debut collection, 'until i see you again', is available on amazon in the link below:

goo.gl/bWtHV2

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