Knife and Salt

By Justin Hunt

Featured art by Markus Spiske

At sundown, we sit at our garden’s edge,
speak of thinkers and their theories—

what’s real, if something follows
this life, the ways of knowing

the little we know. An owl swoops the
creek below, swift as death. I shift

in my lawn chair, pick at my knee— an
old wound I won’t let heal.

Do you wonder, I ask, if Descartes
ever said, I feel pain, therefore I am?

You sigh, run your eyes to a remnant
of light in the oak above—as if,

in your drift, you could re-enter the time
of our son, inhale his dusky scent.

I honor your silence. But what I feel,
what I know, what I want to say is,

we have no choice but to watch
September settle on our garden.

And look! All these tomatoes
that cling to withered vines—blushes

of green and carmine, waxen wines
and yellows, the swollen heirlooms.

When the next one falls, my love,
I’ll pick it up, fetch us a knife and salt.

Justin Hunt grew up in rural Kansas and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. His work appears or is forthcoming in Five Points, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Florida Review, Arts & Letters, The Atlanta Review, Bellingham Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Cider Press Review, Southword (Ireland), and The Bridport Prize Anthology (U.K.), among other journals and publications. He is currently working on a debut collection.

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