I lean behind the wet leaves to pluck what I think I see— a wild black raspberry. Thirty years of picking distills in my hand; I’m confident I can eat what I find. I lift the vine above my head to shake away the rain, pull off the dark caps lined in honeycomb. Leave the rest for next week or after. I hear myself, decades back, prickling at the thorns I’m happy to know as I retreat. A mile on I lick my palm where the stain lasts, a useful dye.
Sandra Marchetti is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Aisle 228, forthcoming from Stephen F. Austin State University Press (2023), and Confluence from Sundress Publications (2015). She is also the author of four chapbooks of poetry and lyric essays. Sandra’s poetry and essays appear widely in Pleiades, Ecotone, Southwest Review, Subtropics, and elsewhere. Sandy is the former Poetry Editor at River Styx Magazine. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing—Poetry from George Mason University and now serves as the Coordinator of Tutoring Services at the College of DuPage in the Chicagoland area.
G.D. Brown has worked as a literary editor and as an award-winning newswriter. His debut novel, Sinners Plunged Beneath That Flood, is available now through Leftover Books. His literary work has appeared in The Woven Tale Press, COUNTERCLOCK, Abandon, Full Stop, Oyster River Pages, The Champagne Room, Jokes Review, Westview, PopMatters, Oracle Fine Arts Review, The Tulsa Voice, and elsewhere. This is his first published photograph. He is a Goddard College MFA graduate and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can find him at GDBwrites.com.