“Reflection, On Blackberries” by Marisa Vito

Art by Eugenia Yoh / eugeniayoh.com


Reflection, on Blackberries

“It is my mouth forever, I am in love with it”

My mother told me that when she was a child, she would dock the tails of lambs. She would wrap a rubber band tight around the tail. The tail would be constricted. The tail would become asphyxiated. And it would just fall off the lamb tree. Would it hurt the lambs? They cannot speak, she said, so it probably did not. 

The obviousness of having sex and sex as it may. 
being told of heart wrinkles and I know what I have felt. 

Fawning over the relationship  
of myself to cordial, a healing of 
mouth ailments. I can kiss and I have. 

In the frozen blackberries, I had found white material. 
I combed out this wool, its sticky tension. Drenched in outright queerness. 


Warm is always warm when it is warm. So I dipped my shoulders into the sun. 

I am sweating holding blackberries. Pressing them against my lips, 
pressing them against the rinds of my teeth. 

When lying with blackberries, I hadn’t thought of the consequences. 
Of oystering each other and spilling the conversation cream, 
onto the brass eyelets of sleeping. 


“what has disappeared, has 
disappeared, is  
disappearing, will disappear. I can’t tell for they are  

I implored about the subtleties of  
my latent qualities, came up short, but found a torus, 
filled, but not brimming with pastoral pictures. 

Each one wrapped in blackberry blood, each one wrapped in intimacy. 


An infinity of midnights 
An infinity of galloping the reeds off the land’s back 
An infinity of catching eyelashes off the shoulders of women. 

I can eat poison, just not too much of it. 
Society can choose what to do with my kneecaps. 
Alas, there are blackberry preserves, a means to staying warm. 

So I think of how fruit skin grows thicker 
when pressed for winter. When made not to breathe. 

In a vegetable garden, a mouse trapezes through the pumpkins 
utterly stunned at its lot. 
Then, its back breaks. All of a sudden, it thinks about  
the tightness of a circle. How did it grow from that? 
It waits for a fizzle, but nothing comes. 
That is to say, of course it is dying. 
Most importantly, it is still fishing for compliments. 

Above all else, it had thought about love, feeling stupid for doing so. 


Maybe it’s not about loving women, but showing that I can. 

When waking up to bedsides, I do not question though I question 
how the pointedness of skin is the center of the universe. 
Why I turn my food over before I eat it. 
Why it’s necessary to tell you about I, loving women. 


To overcome my body, I have worked out its ossein. 
And it cracked itself, whipping motion. 
Full speed consciousness and distances. 
To have blackberries is to have this. 

Quotes are from “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman, and The California Poem by Eleni Sikelianos.

Marisa Vito (she/they) is a California-based poet who has published with the former literary magazine, Crab Fat Magazine and the Los Angeles Magazine. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in English Literature/Writing and is an editor for Non.Plus Lit. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, baking, gardening, and studying/talking about societal theory.