Nothing more deliciously speaks for this issue of Mixed Fruit than Anne Barngrover’s poem “The Closest I Mean to I Lust You.” Tantalizingly fresh in language and sound, Barngrover uses food to express the narrator’s lust:
When I say want I mean cloves
of want, slices of want, lickfuls and lickfuls and
wet spot. I want you muskmelon.
I want you pod and pole.
And I was even more excited to see that Barngrover actually has two poems in the issue. “What Lasts” is a beautiful poem that expresses that “that those who hurt us won’t / last but it’s the people who love us / who will.”
There are more great lines scattered throughout this issue such as Michael Lambert’s “John Henry hammered a secret into my ear / & my fingers felt like the sound of murder.” In “Slice,” Olga Rukovets starts, “The questions that hide in our cheeks when we say hello when we kiss each other sideways when we wish we had never met when we say this is growing up this is falling apart . . .” And Ruth Baumann’s “Anatomy of the Dollhouse Inside a Head Built of Matchsticks” starts, “For a place to exist / it must be inhabited by an idea. / We were a place.”
Despite the majority of the issue being poetry, there is some prose; Alison Turner contributes a lovely piece of nonfiction titled “The Bread Knife,” in which she expresses an experience of living in Switzerland when she wished there was “an American there to laugh at [her].” Turner is able to laugh at herself and show us that all of us can be vulnerable.