ISSUE No. 6

Clerestory

A clerestory is a window which allows light and air into the body of an old building. Clerestory Magazine stories and storytellers are like windows through which the pain and beauty of the human experience shine.

The Clerestory Podcast S1 E25

The Oklahoma Tenant Farmer and Me
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The Avocado

Dressed up like an armadillo rolled into a ball,

the avocado ripens on the sill.

When fleshy to the touch, it’s fit

for culinary feats: halved, then quartered,


clinging to its spherule core, it can be

sliced, diced, smashed, spread, mixed,

rendering a host of treats from toast

to guacamole, a joy for all who eat.


Persia Americana, family Lauraceae,

around the world its names a verbal feast:

aguacate, butter fruit, avo, palta, alligator

pear. As many names as uses.


Fruit of the Americas, it nurtured

Bolivar, Zapata, Albizu, Rigoberta,

fed the pangs of countless

millions hungry for their rights.


Unassuming, humble, the avocado

is endowed with traits like those

of a cherished partner: stable,

nurturing, versatile, tasty.


How might the world be different if,

back in the day, those lovers shared,

instead of that shiny red globe,

this perfect fruit?

Mariana Mcdonald is a poet, writer, scientist, and activist. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including poetry in Crab Orchard Review, Lunch Ticket, and The New Verse News. She lives in Atlanta.

Discover more from Mariana Mcdonald.