Discovery of Pear

Allyn Bernkopf

I split a fresh pear as my tongue got caught

between my teeth when I articulated to my therapist

that I was stuck in recollections of worthlessness


like leftover winter in April. I let its juice rinse

down my chest and it eased a hole in my gut,

so I sipped at the fruit like how my mother


slowly sipped my yellow tears when I swallowed

my tongue and threaded “Raped”

on my door mat years ago. I was convinced then


that “Victim” was carved into my skin

like dust in honey. I would pick at the sticky lines,

watched them wrap round my heart,


which developed arrhythmia as traumatic memories

stitched to the lining of my lungs, my stomach

fluttered like crisp wasps.


My therapist suggested a seam ripper.

She helped me reach down my throat to pick

at the knitted lines once a week for years.


Eventually the acidic letters came up and glistened

bitterly in the morning sun. I collected a few and wove

Survivor into my pear before I swallowed it whole.


Author Bio


Allyn Bernkopf is pursuing her MFA in poetry at Oklahoma State University, where she is a recipient of the Gladys Burris Creative Writing Fellowship. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Greensboro Review, Unique Poetry Journal, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and The Quotable, and has been anthologized in Women’s Voices Anthology (These Fragile Lilacs 2017) and Lost: Reflections (Medusa’s Laugh Press, 2017). She holds a Master of Arts in English from Weber State University.