Plush as carmine / (tender) as a sore


In our world, pomegranates are bees’ produce.
Structure of honeycomb, kernels combed away.

The sting of passion to latch a kiss.

I slice through layers, body bending
here & there, pluck a seed

here & there, suck long
on juice, watch stain creep

through me like liquid, like sadness
warmed to stick to stomach

walls — the sweet bitterness of leaving
she would have known had her mother not

been a goddess, the bitter
sweetness scavengers accept

as a night’s exodus into day, the separation
from lover’s arms. Still humans are not fruits

and loving is not

leaving. You have come only
to go again like a season swept

in hurricane, an eye trapped
by circumstance hurling. Somewhere

there is a window display of fruit: basket
of apples, a bowl of orange. Outside

the artist’s arrangement, we’ll spy
palms of fruit so red they turn

to night and we’ll pinch
our lips & hear the hunger deep

within our throats, grasping
a gullet beneath & above

this portion of earth.





Image by Jo-Christian-Oterhals
Previously published in Vandal (Food and Migration issue)