Blackberries

The blackberries are thick this year
after a hot summer and a few big rains.
They turn from pink to a glossy deep purple,
almost black, when they are ripe and ready
to be slipped off in one clean tug, the thimble
from the cone, like pulling off your jeans
as you lie on your back on the couch, laughing.
The berries are clusters of small shiny globes
like the giant cluster of new galaxies forming
so far away from our little home. And by giant
we mean bigger than the biggest metaphor
any poet ever conceived and farther than light
travels in five billion years, which renders
the fact that at the center of the cluster
seven hundred new stars are hiccupped
every Earth year not so much news as a report
from very long ago and far away, like love letters
carried across a vast ocean on a wooden ship,
or a jar of blackberry jam opened in the dead
of winter. The brambles are heavy with berries,
drowsy with a weight so sweet and sticky,
tangled and ripe as bodies after loving,
your leg across mine warm and moist
as bread dough rising the way the Universe
expands in the afterglow of the Big Bang,
which brings us back to those new stars
forming, mass and energy born of nothing
and nowhere, spilling in from another
reality, the way love bursts into our lives,
spontaneously, radiant, and doesn’t it make you
wonder, when lightning awakens you
with a bright flash in the dark, if we are not
long for this life together, if the end has already
come, far away and long ago, as we lie here
in each other’s arms, the touch of skin on skin
sweet as blackberry jam on fresh bread and
twice as satisfying, waiting for the boom.

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About Ray Sharp

Father, poet, triathlete, local public health planner
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