The moon is a slice of muskmelon tonight,
and I can see my father
deftly cutting into it,
removing flesh from rind
with his filet knife.
The juice scents his hands
and the pulse points at his wrists.
I daub my fingers, and lips, and chin
with the spice of his garden.
This is my father's smell:
melon rinds and corn husks decomposing in the chicken yard,
the green snap spray of white half runner beans,
black crescents of motor oil under his fingernails,
and bluegill scales flecked like stars in the hairs on his arms.
Heather Abner is a librarian with punk rock roots. She lives in the rust belt of Michigan with her husband, Critter, and two Miniature Schnauzers, Diesel and Brizo. She holds a MFA from the University of Michigan and a MLIS from Wayne State University. She often dreams of punk music while sitting at the reference desk.