Fruit King by José Angel Araguz


My aunt cut through
the Fruit King easy,
knowing by sight
what was ripe,
what good. The King
would smile
his cartoon smile
from his sign
as she considered
unblinking pears,
flushed mangoes,
the bated breath
of oranges. Her hands
would pass
and halt,
two birds,
not in any hurry.
Her fingertips, amused,
would linger, peck.
To me, a child
prone to singing
himself down the aisles
until my aunt’s hands ruffled
and pinched me
back to silence,
the fruit appeared
to be making every
effort to hold still,
a light on their skin –
she could have been the moon.


JOSé ANGEL ARAGUZ is a CantoMundo fellow and a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Cincinnati. Author of six chapbooks and the book Everything We Think We Hear, he runs the blog The Friday Influence. His second book, Small Fires, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.