The other day
I met a monk who juggled watermelon seeds
with his tongue.
When I asked him how he did it,
he spit the seeds at me,
a staccato stream of seed-bullets
as if the monk were no monk at all
but rather a cartoon gangster, or vaudeville gunner.
I ducked.
All of the seeds flew over my head
except for one, the lone seed that clung
to the top of my shoulder.
The monk’s eyes wrinkled with silent laughter,
which soon emitted from his nostrils and mouth
as a soft hissing sound.
How do you do that, he pointed at the seed
perched on my shoulder.
I smiled and shrugged and the seed fell off.
On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and bought a watermelon.
When I got home I cut it open and made a project out of seed-removal.
Then I tried juggling seeds with my tongue, but to no avail.
Several hours later, having not made any progress with my juggling act,
I sat down and stared at the lovely sloppy wreckage of watermelon and rind,
and at, or rather into the dreamlife of seeds gathered in a small glass bowl.
I picked up one of the seeds and planted it on my shoulder.
It’s easy, I said, as if the monk were there watching and listening,
and his silence roared like the most marvelous applause.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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