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Of Avocados

By Juan J. Morales

Like two hands pressed
together, they are twice as large
on the island. One feeds
the family meal, sending us to wonder
why are they so small
stateside? On our last visit to PR
we sat on my tío’s patio
to talk and drink cafecitos.
My dad stared down the giant tree
burdened with dark green fruit.
His brother didn’t offer him
a single one.
My tío died soon after
that visit. Dad kept bringing up
the abundance his brother never offered,
not as a grudge, but as a recollection
of what we still couldn’t get in the states,
of what was delicious enough
to keep all borders open.

Within the year, two more
of dad’s siblings passed away
and last week we lost him,
a man who planned to return for
one more avocado. For each of us,
he would have peeled away craggy skin,
parsed the flesh, and held out
those green wedges
on the point of his knife. We would have
accepted it
as one last gift
to savor in our mouths.



Listen as Juan J. Morales reads "Of Avocados".

Added: Monday, May 10, 2021  /  Used with permission.
Juan J. Morales
Photo by Patti Freeman Schreiber.

Juan J. Morales is the son of an Ecuadorian mother and Puerto Rican father. He is the author of three poetry collections, including The Siren World and The Handyman’s Guide to End Times, winner of the 2019 International Latino Book Award. Poems have appeared in Acentos Review, Breakbeats Vol. 4 LatiNEXT, Collateral, Crazyhorse, CSPAN 2, Dear America, PankPoetry, Poetry Daily,, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. He is a CantoMundo Fellow, a Macondo Fellow, the editor/publisher of Pilgrimage Press, and professor and department chair of English & World Languages at Colorado State University Pueblo.

Other poems by this author