Self-Portrait with Cherries

by Kate Asche —

No matter how many times I drop the dried cherry onto my palm, it always ends up in the center.


Should I prefer the beauty of the fruit as object—sugar-sweetened and polished with oil—or the beauty of fruit as living body: the cherry at rest in the dish, or shrinking into itself in the sun?


Pitting wounds each fruit. Drying reveals flesh to be a fragile transparency.


We once made love in a friend’s shower till my skin puckered and your tongue found the cherry-red inside me, tasting my metal.


If the sky is lifting, all the cherries must be falling.

Kate AscheKate Asche’s poetry is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly and DIAGRAM and has appeared in The Missouri Review (as an Audio Prize finalist) and in Colorado Review, RHINO, Santa Clara Review, The Pinch, Canary and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Our Day in the Labyrinth, debuted in 2015 from Finishing Line Press. A graduate of the UC Davis Creative Writing program, she teaches workshops in Sacramento and runs the Sacramento Poetry Center’s Annual Spring Conference. Connect with Kate at