The Summer Watermelon’s Green

by Natalie Marino

for my mother, Cindy Marlene Marino

tiger stripes
made it halfway
between wild animal
and primordial tree.

You cut into
the red heart
of its flesh
and it called you

from the Mexican
summer, so hot
that the rain rose
above the street soon

after it fell.
You thirsted
for its cool water
even after

you were warned
of the dysentery.
Now the butterflies
start their migration

to fields of flowers,
leaving you alone.
You think back
to that season

of quiet eating
when no one
needed to discuss
the ends of evenings.

Natalie Marino is a poet, physician, and mother. Her work appears in Barren Magazine, Capsule Stories, Dust Poetry Magazine, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Leon Literary Review, Literary Mama, Moria Online, and elsewhere. She also reads poetry submissions for Bracken Magazine. She lives in California with her husband and two daughters.