Kate Beasley - "Watermelon," "Coosawhatchie," and "Lizard."



I hugged against my body

a just-picked watermelon when I was six,

and prayed to reach the end of the row

without dropping it. 

The melon was all curves, I remember,

no easy clutch, and sweat slipped

from my slick fingertips to loosen

my grip.  Though I squeezed tighter, I felt it sliding

away.   My melon, with a thrumming whack, hit

the dirt and sulled between the vines.  I pushed on its head,

but it would not budge, so I slapped it like a drum

and then sat upon it, to scratch at my mosquito bait legs.


I’ve never relished the wet pink flesh

within those fat green Zeppelins. 

I merely enjoy the idea

of watermelon.  My dandelion wine I eat to

become drunk on memories of

watermelon.  Now I am sure

that even then I knew

what a boondoggler I was.





We won’t stop in Coosawhatchie

we’re passing through today. 

A host of Baptist churches rise and flex

Their toes, threat to walk away.

Curls spill around me, screaming

To tear and fly away.   The sky,

 a glass sheet, a hiss

away from breaking. 

And the horse in the cloak

won’t tell where we’re going.

Potholes lift their skirts

and scuttle to block

our way to Coosawhatchie. 




Next time you’ll notice it.


Night and the house a

fire in the black,

allures winged

things to windows

He skulks in the sill

Pointed snout tilts

Eyes like tiny black marbles

Fixed upon the prey

A clever way to use your light.  His bait

Waits. Waits. Waits.

A blur – chomp: Rough, lur chin g swallows


Day and he watches

you dash

from house to car

Cool body

lazy still in the sun. 

Gazes later when you

plod from car to house.

Scales your homewalls

like an acrobat thief

Spies you sunk into

your couch,


Remember he loathes

your kind

because of summers

 when boys squeeze the slim stomach

in fingers, lift the flailing body

To the edge

Of a wide face.

Squeeze and shake

Run to their kitchen

Yell, “Look, Ma”

Point to the flopping green

creature suspended

jaws clamped to a

fat earlobe. 

Posted on December 7, 2013 .