Fruit Of Paradise

I remember the garden, the snake,
The curse of disease & death
The Exodus.

Leaving Eden, the hot wind whipping my hair,
I stumbled into the desert with the Man
My soft feet torn by thorns and jagged stones

Even the cacti shriveled before our touch
our happiness overthrown, our life uncertain

In my hand, I carried the pomegranate
Pomme-grenade, the fruit of seed and blood

I hurled it into a stream in a deep valley
Alone in that virgin space, to sink or swim

Traders plucked it, taught it the Silk Road route
This fruit I loved, stolen from God’s own garden
This refugee from the very gates of Paradise

Each morning I turn my lips to its crimson flesh
Sweet in my mouth as the tongue of my latest lover

In the moonlight, under the olives
I drink its juice. No-knowledge sweeps me along
Into the little death that some call sleep

by Sheena Blackhall

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