by Maria Catherino

On Christmas day you show me how to seed a pomegranate 
to split it down the center and 
pluck out the pulpy red eyes with a fork.
I pile them on the cutting board, their white pupils watching as we talk about 
music, bicycles, the liberal arts 
and what passes for pleasantries between strangers.
I think our degrees are in optimism, the
ability to see the gilded edges around anything, even 
a Christmas in this drafty old house on the corner of our next lives. 
You lent me your book of poems by Raymond Carver 
dog-eared with little blue x’s by the ones you liked.
I’m reading the poems but more often 
reading you, 
decoding your cipher. 
I scan the pages
for corners bent by your careful folding through the 
yellowed valley of the page looking for the elusive x:
a roadmap for hope.