An Hour of Grapes (John Pinto)

I was thirsty and remembered I had forgotten 

that you can eat grapes whenever you want. 

For no reason at all, grapes. Another

grape, another grape. An hour of grapes.

A dinner of grapes, too full for dessert. Up 

at three a.m. for grapes by fridgelight.

I knew about water, of course, but 

consider: a grape. It’s already

gone before you’ve thought your way through the word. 

Another grape. Another grape.

Out of grapes. Put on shoes

with no socks and walk in the dark

with the stem in hand all fishbone-pokey. 

Pass houses with kitchens where grapes 

are disrespected, left to raisin in ceramic 

bowls on counters and tables. Spit.

Hold the stem up to the dark front window 

of a closed Whole Foods. Yell at no one: 

“Do you have this variety in stock?” 

Lights come on up and down the street, 

curtains part, windows open, someone 

throws ice cubes and someone else

pours rainwater from a tray they keep

out on their sill. A few boos. I boo

back, because the mouth shape is the same 

as when you’re about to bite clean through 

an ideal grape. They do not like this.

Twirl the stem in the air, poll the street:

“Do any of you have this variety in stock?” 

Imagine being woken by a question

like that. One day I will behave

normally and naturally, and I will forget

this whole mode of being. For now, another grape.


John Pinto lives in Philadelphia, where he works as a film lab technician.


image: Jade Hawk is a meat popsicle.