his fingers scrape out her insides
the way they did with that pumpkin last wednesday
when they laughed about the strings holding
all those guts together
and he told her stories as she methodically cleaned off
each seed
covered them in spices and nearly let them catch fire at 450 degrees

later they cut up whatever was left
into neat, perfect slices
she holds one up to her face to pantomime a wide orange smile
he snaps a picture for instagram
she sprinkles the tops with sugar, the way her grandma taught her
before they set them under the broiler

and when it’s all over we see
the deconstruction of something sweet:
they use their teeth to crack open off-white shells
that burn with cloves and cardamom
and they take spreading knives to withered orange smiles
charred black around the edges and corners



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