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By Denise DiMarzio

(Brassica oleracea)
Glorious for weeks now, pale leaves shining green, and at last the smallest of sprouts appearing — sitting tight like tiny Buddhas on the stalks, rounding daily, bulking up against the cold. Too close to hard frost. The kitchen clock turns. Last night in a café, two college girls at the next table. Luminous. Perfect calves and streaming manes of hair, their skin so creamy, their bodies tight and soft and muscled. They wear stockings ripped in artistic swirls, revealing breath- taking hints of their velvet thighs. I am not twenty any longer, nor even thirty. I wanted to fall upon them, wolfish, sink my teeth into their taut haunches, ravenous for their energy, their bodies, their beauty, their simple perfection, their lives all before them, lovers yet to come and be gone, nights to greet them, mornings to greet them. I wanted to pull up their shirts and run my hands over their warm stomachs, the slight roundness. I wanted to rip their stockings to shreds — tear them, learn mysteries with my tongue running the full length of their electric legs. The end of September means nothing to them, only another living day, another day with endless numbers of days open ahead. Fall is nothing. Brussels sprouts waxing too late is nothing. The coming winter and the dark short days are nothing. They are made of light. Their mourning has not yet come. Their beds have not been achingly empty. Their hearts still bloom open, full-flowering and redly alive. Their hearts are not folded folded folded rimed with frost.
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About Denise DiMarzio

Denise DiMarzio is, among other things, a native Rhode Islander, gardener, whistler, stargazer, and writer. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Norman Bird Flyer, Friends Journal, The Providence Journal, Echoes of Mercy, Crone’s Nest and the long-lost and much-missed Hurricane Alice: A Feminist Quarterly. She can be found sitting near a tree somewhere.


  1. Marissa
    Posted January 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Yes! I love the writer for this. I am right there and feel the voice of the narrator’s covetous desire to harness that beauty and youth once more. Well done and deserving of the award. Makes me want to read more by Denise DiMarzio.

    • Denise
      Posted January 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much, Marissa. I really appreciate that.

  2. Posted March 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    This poem is beautifully written!

  3. Posted August 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Captured the saudade emotions of the woman in the poem so beautifully, it brings tears to ones eyes. The longing and loneliness is palpable.

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