In summer she kept lances of wild aloe
in the fridge door, cool spears wound
loose in paper towels to sop up the sap.
With the fine point of a filleting knife
she flensed the thorns, then flicked
her wrist to unzip the hunter green skin.
Today we etched her initials in a wedge
before unpeeling it, so it bled up
through her name like succulent graffiti.
Enzymes catalyze the milk to resin.