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Juan Pablo Mobili

Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires, and adopted by New York. His poems appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, The Worcester Review, Otoliths (Australia) and Impspired (UK), among others. His work received an Honorable Mention from the International Human Rights Art Festival, and nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, in 2020 and 2021. His chapbook, “Contraband,” was published this year (

The Sacrament of Grapefruit

My mother would spoon
the grapefruit’s flesh,
piece by piece, out of their casings,
and sprinkle them with sugar
to entice her two young boys
to give bitterness
a mild and early try
or hide the nature of life’s taste.

She was taught that God
must always be forgiven
for not answering our prayers,
because we were too flawed,
too self-involved,
or too damn mortal
to understand even a fruit.

That was my mother’s
grapefruit sacrament,
her hope we grew
a rind thick enough
“to live and tell about it,”
to be ready to face a tart existence,
its bitter pulp arranged
in strict compartments.

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