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.
KURT BIEHL ©2012