How to Eat an Avocado
by Michael Minassian

Cover yourself in green—
nestle it in your hand,
squeeze until it yields
to gentle pressure;
slice in half,
then scoop out the pit
as if you were
removing a broken heart.

When you taste the flesh,
let it linger on your tongue,
flowering like a grove
of epiphanies—
earth, rain and sun,
hunger and thirst,
like the first touch of lips
in a voluptuous embrace.

IMAGE: Avocado (Persea) (1916) by Amada Almira Newton. Original from U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel, rawpixel.com.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Avocados have long been considered symbols of love and fertility. Used by Aztecs as an aphrodisiac, the fruit takes its name from the Nahuatl word ahuacatl, which means “testicle.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO: When we lived in Florida we had a huge avocado tree in the backyard. I took the photo then (probably around 2014). The tree was fairly indestructible. When we bought that house there were seven papaya trees…all fell victim to hurricanes over a period of about 10 years.

Minassian1 copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Minassian’s poems and short stories have appeared recently in such journals Live Encounters, Lotus Eater, and Chiron Review. He is also a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online poetry journal. His chapbooks include poetry: The Arboriculturist and photography: Around the Bend.  His poetry collections, Time is Not a River  and Morning Calm are available on Amazon. His poetry manuscript A Matter of Timing won the 2020 Poetry Society of Texas’ Manuscript Contest (publication: Summer 2021). Visit him at michaelminassian.com.