Two Poems by Donna Vorreyer

Photo by Margarita Zueva on Unsplash


I have never mastered this culinary dentistry, how to best pluck the red teeth from the white gums. I was raised on canned cocktails and Red Delicious, the occasional slice of watermelon on a hot July day. All other fruits my mother magicked into sweetness -  filling for pies, dots of color in streusel-top muffins. But I’m seeding pomegranates from my produce box, red leathered purses I would never think to buy—too fancy, hardly worth the work to pry out the sweet-tart sparklepop of pips to burst in the teeth. Once I was grown, my mother would buy jars of arils for holiday dinners because one niece loved them, though she never bought a jar or a whole fruit for herself, not once, and I haven’t thought about Persephone until now, how in some versions of the myth, the seeds are gifts that grant her both worlds she desires, and here I am in this one, sifting through seeds like a sultan’s courtesan, jewels slick through my fingers, no mother left to barren the earth of all this plenty.



after the painting “Copper Signal” by Dorothy Hood

how a space can be empty yet layered with ache

look how the ochre flinches
at the intrusion of blue

look how the wet seeks the sand
and the blue striates to a shining
trail through the ombre rock

here the crag is sharp but the gash is beauty

here breaking is not shame
but white froth and a sliver of oxidation

this valley sharp-edged as the v that names it
but lined with hints of healing
here cloudforms gather in the highest places

here the blue-black opens at the seam

to bleed light into everything
into my body that no longer bleeds

a body that could lie here in these
shadowed chasms
a body of blood-rocks and blue-veins

coursing bright a body that could die here

thick with life and howling
at the river’s bright mouth



Watch a video reading of "Plenty" on TikTok.

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