Black Petals Issue #103, Spring, 2023

Editor's Page
BP Artists and Illustrators
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
All the Sky Is Waiting to Be Told: Fiction by Daniel I. Clark
Fire Sale: Fiction by Christopher Pate
Kregah: Fiction by Ron Capshaw
The Beauty of Machinery: Fiction by Hayden Seay
The Cold Sore: Fiction by Chris McGuinness
The Lake: Fiction by Harper Hargis
The Price: Fiction by Josh Hanson
The Tailbone Is Connected to the Hipbone: Fiction by Michael Fowler
The Thorn Tree: Fiction by Lawrence Buentello
They: Fiction by Tony Ayers
Work Experience: Fiction by Martin Taulbut
Burns: 3 Connected Drabbles by Hillary Lyon
Grandma Medusa: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
I'm So Sorry, Computer: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Invasive: Flash Fiction by Paul Radcliffe
Jumper: Flash Fiction by Kurt Hohmann
Personal Things: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Good Doctor: Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Another Tomato Invasion, Again: Poem by I. N. Shimabuku
Curse of the Crazies: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Ghosted: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Meteor Moon: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Halo Around the Sun: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Maker's Image: Poem by Bindi Lavelle
Specimen: Poem by Bindi Lavelle
Blood-stained Jupiter: Poem by Meg Smith
Cat Science: Poem by Meg Smith
Mortician's Powder: Poem by Meg Smith
The Pinups of the Afterlife: Poem by Meg Smith
Dark Gate Park: Poem by Meg Smith
A turntable fabricates hope during the apocalypse in 3 parts: Poem by Dennis Bagwell
Reverend Mother Munchausen: Poem by Sophia Wiseman-Rose
Whispers of Winter: Poem by Ashley N. Goodwin
A Man Is Nothing Without His Wife: Poem by Ashley N. Goodwin

I. N. Shimabuku: Another Tomato Invasion, Again

Art by I. N. Shimabuku 2023

Another Tomato Invasion, Again


I. N. Shimabuku


My sour eyes, how dare they not deceive me.
Why can’t my visions of exploding tomatoes be fake?
Now the windows are icky, my father will kill me.
He doesn’t like it when tomato guts are on the windows.

Me neither, but the light filtering through red is beautiful.

The tomatoes keep exploding. They’re coming east.
East, where the sun rises, or rather, unhides itself.
I think the sun is a coward, because when the tomatoes
Erupt from the east, the Sun immediately hides.

I don’t blame her, really. I hate social interaction.

I heard my neighbor got run over by a tomato.
Good for him, he always wanted to die.
He was also my principal, so I would understand.
A zucchini man surrounded by lemon eyed kids.

Yup, will tear your life apart. That’s why I don’t look in mirrors.

My dad had to yell at me to get up. I hate thursdays.
Somehow, the tomato explosions have subdued.
Thank god because they have been keeping me up at night.
Smiling, of course, as the explosion smelled of sweet pasta rain.

It’s the season to grow our spaghetti. But everyone’s too afraid.

I don’t have friends so I have befriended myself.
And some dead tomatoes by the window.
I named them Sarah, Bella, Andrea, and Stella.
They have begun to ferment, like wine.

My mother and father both loved wine. Why one of them isn’t here today.

Dad wants to go to my neighbor's funeral. He lets me stay home because I’m sick.
Sick of this nonsensical weather. It’s raining tomatoes.
And my allergies are turning me to olive.
I might as well be dying, so I have decided to let the small tomato in.

He’s been at my door for some time. Looks appetizing.

Are we allowed to ingest tomatoes? Is it cannibalism?
Well, cannibalism is a state of mind, and social construct.
Plus, if we lust for wars, it’s okay to lust for other plants.
My dad has locked himself in his room. He’s holding a hatchet.

Of course he’s afraid of me. If he can weaponize a small wine bottle, I can weaponize my teeth.

My sour eyes, how dare they not deceive me.
Everyone is alive? Why is my stomach peeled open?
Of course, the hatchet must’ve won; I had been fooled, supposedly.
What surrounds me are tomatoes, all in nurses’ uniforms. Glaring at me.

“You’ve done it again, lemon eyes?” one nurse said. “A bit sour of a girl,
aren’t you?”


I. N. Shimabuku is a young Ryukyuan-Scottish writer from California.  She has been published in several literary magazines such as The WEIGHT Journal, All Ears, Blue Marble Review, and Outlander Zine.  She currently attends an art high school where she studies Creative Writing. 

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