Back in 1975, before the days of mass hybridization, watermelons had seeds. When I worked for a summer at a grocery store in Estes Park Colorado, one of my many tasks involved cutting melons so that the seeds were not visible. Near the end of the summer while I was passing on my expertise at watermelon slicing to a new employee, the lost-looking 20 year old darted his hand under the melon just as I shoved the knife down. He went to the ER. I never saw him again. I wonder to this day why he did it.



There is an art

to watermelon slicing.

Reading the skin just right

and directing the slice between

the seeds, revealing

a cut surface of solid red meat.

Covered in Saran and placed on a bed

of ice, such a melon entices:

the illusion of a melon

without seeds, the hope

this may be the one seeds forgot.


The ripest melon is chosen,

I place it place it on the slab.

Guided by the line drawn

by my fingers, the knife hovers

over the landmarks, the ridges

of alternating stripes, green

by darker green. The knife lingers

as I wait for the sweet crunch

of split rind. Raising my shoulder

and leaning down, I hear the delicate

crack of flesh parting by my touch


I can see, this is another

perfect cut. The slice is deep,

to the quick. An artery

is now open, my blood

wells up and flows by this pulse.

Such bleeding, it seems,

should never stop.



About Køt Biehl

I am a psychiatrist in private practice with 25 years experience in multiple settings including long-term inpatient, acute inpatient, partial hospitalization, outpatient, hospital consultation, long term psychodynamic psychotherapy, brief psychotherapy, and even electroconvulsive therapy. I am board certified in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. My interests are many. I bore easily. I am fascinated by shamanic healing, particle physics, quantum theory, Schubert, Brahms, Schoenberg, Jung, Reik, Pynchon, Proust, Mark Strand, John Berryman, Richard Feinman, Wharhol, Pollock, Kandinsky, Miro, audiophile stereo reproduction, rocks on the beach, and small shiny objects.
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