Peeling Habas – a poem by Juan Pablo Mobili

Peeling Habas

Habas are hard and they are aloof,
they come about once a year, like miracles, 
or my mother’s second cousins, doubtful 
they will come, annoying when they do.

You must boil them to loosen 
their coarse skin, then move them
to a bowl filled with cold water, 
and so the penitence begins.

You must peel them by holding 
to one end and squeezing softly 
until its inner soul slides elegantly out,
otherwise their sacrifice would be unworthy.

Like most saints, their sweetness
resides under their robes, like John,
Paul, Anthony of Padua or Joan of Arc,
they demand the incandescence of our spirit,

our absolute surrender. We are here
to peel away, the account of our good deeds
inconsequential, heaven counting on all of us
to abide by the peeling of our hardness.

Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires. His poems appeared in The Worcester Review, The American Journal of PoetryImpspired (UK), and Otoliths (Australia), among many others. His work has received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His chapbook,  Contraband, was published this year.

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