Paring Knife with Ripe Fruit

I spent the last
of that morning’s
fourteen miles—
right hip snarled,


stride and pace
a capitulation—
considering my once-idle
question: How long


can I do this?
But also thinking
of the nectarine, waiting,
at its heavy-


fleshed brink.
I ate it, sliced
at meridians,
at my kitchen counter


in my running
shoes, favoring the one
hip, every bite almost


the best of it. Let me make


this plain:
I raked the stone bare.
Licked the plate
and the blade.

Abbie Kiefer is the author of Certain Shelter (June Road Press, 2024). Her work is forthcoming or appears in the Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Ploughshares, RHINO, the Southern Review, West Branch, and other places. She lives in New Hampshire.