Black Currant ~ Tami Haaland


An elegant mousse, a cat’s tongue
biscuit, the taste of black currants
I knew as a child. I am in England
when I discover they are illegal
at home, have been for a century.
A virus they carry kills white pine.

In my twenties, I made
black currant jelly from the small bush
my father planted and we called it his
even as the berries ripened
a month after he died. I wonder where
he came upon this bootleg plant.

The atheist across the table says,
tell your friends you’ve eaten
the forbidden fruit.

But I did that long ago. In this moment
the biscuit is crisp and delicately
powdered, the mousse tart,
layered in darkest fruit.