By Frank G. Karioris



Almost half a dozen years later

I still have them in my fridge,

a new plastic container, of course, yet

same as always; white dove flying.


In all the countries I have lived in

I have found them, these exact ones.

It’s impossible to know for sure,

but they have always seemed perfect,


so I have continued buying them

without trying anything else,

as irrational as this in reality may be.

They just are, as such, all there is.


All branding preferences come from

constructed memories, often of love,

and these are no different, though

the relation to love is complicated.




So different from the ones I grew up

with - pitted & rounded, deep purple;

these with their stone remaining,

wrinkled like dark cherry raisons.


I eat them one at a time, setting the pit

between my thumb & forefinger

while savoring the salinity & juices,

sharp on the flat of my tongue. 


Pitting with knife for the salad.

Pluck them from a branch outside

a temple in the south, appraising

transformational possibilities to come.


These edible, imagistic onyxes

hold me to them just tightly enough

that I can’t run away or forget,

lax enough for arriving new delights.


Frank G. Karioris (he/they/him/them) is a writer and educator based in Pittsburgh whose writing addresses issues of friendship, masculinity, sexuality, and gender. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Hong Kong Review of Books, Burning House Press, Back Patio Press, Collective Unrest, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Maudlin House, and the Berlin Review of Books.