2 Poems by M.J. Arlett

Mango at the Deering Estate

The man let the fruit fall from his hands to mine,
his face one that rarely misses sunrise.

Sky roiling, heavy-aired July. The pregnancy of it in palm,
warm and rounded. It exhausts me to hold

and anticipate. I cannot stand it.
These gardens stretch to infinity

and I crave sweetness. My mouth
wants to marry this gift, to hold flesh
with flesh and let it permeate me,
amber and stilling,

but loud as thunder.

To the Waterline at Key Biscayne

This world tastes like the sound
of his car pulling into the driveway, or
a thumb peeling open my mouth.

The palm trees groan, they must be aching too.
He says, I nightmared, I couldn’t breathe
but when I woke, you were there.

Now, there are gills. There are sapphires
and samphire and wicked gold. My lips become salted
as I tongue this coral—sharp millennial growth.

This is erasure, an oceanic rebuilding. 
I have found a new necessity
and I am visceral. 


M. J. Arlett is an MFA candidate at Florida International University where she is the nonfiction editor for Gulf Stream Magazine. She was born in the UK, spent several years in Spain and now lives in Miami. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lunch Ticket, Poet Lore, Mud Season Review, Tinderbox Poetry and elsewhere.

Elijah Tubbs