Green On Red – Ashley Naftule

Wedge of watermelon

When I was six,
my favorite part about eating watermelon
was harvesting the black seeds.

My parents would cut off the green skin
so I could slip my tongue into ruby flesh
and pluck out the seeds.

I’d store them in my cheeks,
piling up one black teardrop after another
until I had enough ammunition stocked up
to machinegun my sister’s friends.

My parents would always tell me
to stop shooting them.
I said I wasn’t:
I was trying to kiss them with
my seeds.

I tripped over a curb
the day before my seventh birthday.
On the ground, my head near the concrete,
I cried as my knee oozed watermelon red.

I stuck my fingers through the cracked shell,
feeling for the seeds in my legs.
Imagine my horror when I found nothing there.




Ashley Naftule is a writer from Phoenix, AZ. He’s been published in Vice, Phoenix New Times, Ghost City Press, The Hard Times, Rinky Dink Press, Daily Bandcamp, Under The Radar, Four Chambers Press, The Occulum, and Ellipsis Zine. He blogs at and Tweets as @Emperor_norton.

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