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round plumpy orange creature

This author is a recipient

of the Sigma Tau Delta Award

Sigma Tau Delta Awarde

Elena Vallejo

(she/her) was born and raised in the Quad Cities and is currently studying Early Childhood Education, Theatre, and Writing at St. Ambrose University. In addition to poetry, Elena writes for the SAU school newspaper, writes for LOVE Girls Magzine, is an editor for SAU’s Quercus, and has done some freelance work. She writes to bring to life the stories living inside her. Elena has previously been published in the 31st edition of Quercus, the Midwest Writing Center’s The Atlas: Volume 16, and the inaugural issue of Antipoetry Magazine.


the first time i ever tried

it was in my great

grandma’s kitchen

the round plumpy orange

creature that she

always picked up from the

produce aisle and

brought straight back

to that old mexican fruit bowl

with a medicinal

type of love,

she grabs

a butter knife

she doesn't peel, but

rather prepares it

with one vertical


there it sits planted

between my


without even a

plate for support

sugar is sprinkled on with

the most precision, right

across the juicy

vessels, each grain falls in


i spoonful smoothly, pluck

the insides and intake

the gutty ripeness–

it ferments itself on


bitter and soured

not crunchy but

squirty and slimy and fleshy

the gnats growing

covetous of

the pulped and raw

syrupy citrus

nutrient and plentiful with

maybe a couple pinches

too many of sweet


take another bite

and then

some more


capsulized in the


all that’s left

is pitted skin

on the counter

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