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January 2016 vol 11 no 4

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J. Zimmerman

Why Chutney Makes Him Weep

After he knows the child is not his and he banishes mother and child to the other man, the tomatoes rot on the vines, disease bubbling slowly from inside. He stands in the back doorway, smoking his way through a pack of cigarettes. Drizzle floats around him. Windfalls thud down from the apple tree in a lumpy cloak of decay. He feels not to be trusted with knives. A woman, he thinks, might dig up a couple of swelling onions, slice them while she weeps, fry them with a dozen salvaged green tomatoes, inedible parts cut away. Chop the best off some apples, add cloves and mace and mustard and of course vinegar. So many children starving. So many children not his own.

falling leaf
in the dank air