Back to Issue Thirty-One

Frutti Di Mare


Alone, finally, me and you
together, first time in a long week.
We stand in the kitchen cutting
chunks of halibut, fresh crab meat.
Pressing hard, I cleave a stubborn
clam, slice my finger. More,

my blood seems to say, more
across onions, the counter, while you
grab paper towels, stubbornly
staunch the flow, my knees gone weak.
Hours later, red permeates
the make-shift bandage, the cut

gaping as an ER doctor cuts
sterile thread to sew it up. No more
knives for you, he says. I meet
his spectacled eyes, then yours.
We laugh. How many weeks?
you ask. Pain? Infection? your stubborn

worried voice less stubborn
in this light. Home again, you clean cutlery
say the grass needs mowed this week,
then stand sorting bills and more
while I, looking up at you,
think about that day, years ago, we met,

remembering our young selves, their unmet
needs—raw, impulsive, newborn—
hungry for our bodies, for a me and you.
Now, on the sofa, unsexy, my cut
hand elevated on a pillow, I ask for more
ice and can see the weeks

ahead of laundry, quarrel, devotion, weeks
of living where we meet
what we are and more,
this day and daily-ness reborn
in me and the map of stitches on my cut
finger that points to you.



Bruce Snider is the author of three poetry collections, Fruit (University of Wisconsin Press, Spring 2020); Paradise, Indiana (Pleiades Press, 2013); and The Year We Studied Women (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003). He is co-editor of The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice (Pleiades Press, 2018). His poems and essays have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Poetry, Threepenny Review, UTNE, and ZYZZYVA, among others. His awards include a James A. Michener Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, the Jenny McKean Writer-in-Washington award, the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize, the Felix Pollack Prize in Poetry, and the Four Lakes Prize in Poetry, as well residencies from Yaddo, the Millay Colony, the Amy Clampitt House, the James Merrill House, VCCA, and the Bogliasco Foundation. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco.

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