2 Poems by Hilary Pacheco

 The Things I've Never Tasted

When the guy I’ve been fucking

For two months tells me he’s never

Tasted a fig, my thought falls off

The cliff of my tongue

And it takes me a minute

I ask him if he’s never even had

A fig fucking newton, and he says no

He hasn’t

Naked on the floor, legs cold

Heat emanates from the undersides

Of my breasts, from between

My lips, as I imagine how easy

Life is without   having

Bitten into the steady

Cinch of tender meat, purple red

Depending on whether you eat it

Dried or fresh

When the guy I’ve been fucking

Tonight on the rough laminate floor

Traces my shoulder with his

Fingertips, my eyelids drop

Heavy, leaden

Like the weight of things I never

Tasted,

Dense

Like the endless list

Of things I know now

Like the arbitrary list

Of things I don’t

When this guy, whose name

I’ve forgotten, finally

Asks me if I like figs, I tell him

I don’t fucking know

Because it’s easier to conceal

Truths than to untangle

Their disorder

Below

A 1003557

seeds are sown without

consent, I reflect

on slow-growing tendrils       roots inside myself

roots from which I cannot

hide. A deeply set

craving, un antojo,                 to satiate evil soil

so I ask myself, are

you evil? And do you

know the rate of its    growth? No?

all you know

is a keen blood thirst

your seeds reject                     life, grow diseased

when traditionally watered

so you ask again

are you evil,

and do you know?

names you can’t keep                        straight

bodies encasing rich rose beds,

bushels of fruit, honeysuckle vines,

delicate leaves on

a

willow tree

soft things my little plant                  says it needs

mine is not                  a self-sustaining

garden, no

sprigs of cool spearmint

my ground      houses

thick walls of heavy   oleander.

greedy for       bodies                         encasing soft               men,

their cleansing effect

reinforcing, sustaining,

breeding                                  a tradition of disease, an

infected germ

I didn’t ask for

I would wrap                         around the arteries

in your core

drink               your warmth,             thrive

there, linger

because your body

is my right

and when you ask                  are you evil?

a cold shudder will

crawl up                     the vertebrae in

your back, gather in your throat

don’t gasp

my smooth flowers

leave no trace.

Native to the Central Valley, writer Hilary Pacheco draws inspiration from the cynical optimism she perceives within her hometown as well as within controversial issues that define contemporary American culture. Having recently received her BA in English with a minor in creative writing, Pacheco is currently working on a poetry collection using experimental form.

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