Becoming Sisters

I cut a cantaloupe from its rind and hold it, scalped 
and slipping.  Inside it, there are seeds in folding rows, 
dark in the concentric hollow, and I don’t know how 
I will remove them, 

and I don’t know how they keep one another, 
in loose grasp, from falling, 
or what they would touch if they fell.

Washing dishes she notices, and is startled 
by the dent at the base of her thumb that appears 
when she holds her hand splayed
and the forearm does not quite meet the smaller bones.

Morning in the kitchen, light bright metal in the sink, 
I go to stand beside her, 
show her my own, matching hollow.

Slowly we are removing from our belief 
those who, we’ve been taught, understand things,
the calm ones in clean shoes.

Tenderly we are removing them, 
from the walls like fire escapes that have allowed us 
to sit inside without concern.

Inside we find that we are standing, together at the sink
and we begin to cut the melon 
whichever way we can.

Copyright © 2009 by Leah Naomi Green. Originally published in The Squaw Valley Review. Used with permission of the author.