Poetry, Words
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Two seeds in the same papaya

Poem by Scout Turkel

She asks me what I think of us:

Two sides of the same coin, or two ends of the same rope.

Is there really a difference I wonder, thinking we were two seeds

in the same papaya. Small, shiny and black, the irises of a dog or caviar

softening in my fist. Whenever I think of her it is in terms

of yolks and shells. How fragile and yellow

her voice sounds. Like cake mix, or splaying into a primitive

pentagon on steaming grass. I met

a baby named Jean-Luc and accidentally

called him Gene this morning–

fixated on his symmetrical eyes, their inverse stare

glazed chocolate donut hazel. The entropy

of the universe increased tenfold then, tiny fingernails

falling in sloppy merengue down his cupid’s bow.

We always end up talking about a child, one like this.

Her butter and tenor hum near my ear whispers a want to be pregnant,

so I tell her about my Gene, how he too was made

of many many eggs.

I think we are two points on a diverging line

she says, hands on my empty womb, growing farther apart with time.

Tunnel welcomes Scout Turkel! She is a twin, college freshman, and writer who is interested in the intersection of identities: personal, sexual, political, and hidden. She will be attending the University of California, Berkeley in the fall and is a graduate of both the Fir Acres Writing Workshop in Portland, Oregon, and the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. Her work can be found in Two Peach Journal, but mostly through years of personal diary keeping. Currently, she is reading Mark Strand, Dorianne Laux, and Keetje Kuipers. Scout is 18 and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Artwork by Alice Neel. “Pregnant Maria,” 1964.


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