Slow-Cooked Sentences

Pomegranate
as mouthful and metaphor

Rachael Conlin Levy

Oh, ancient fruit found in Egyptian tomb, Turkish shipwreck, and within the walls of Jericho. Oh, round, red rock sprung from the hot earth of civilization, heavy in the hand and in meaning, your tender flesh protected in a leathered husk of pericarp so like the pericardium that wraps my heart. A fruit misspelled (or more aptly respelled) as pomegranite. Fingers grip living stone as mind measures the heft and heave needed for a grenade in French to hit its target. A word weapon to bruise flesh, break skin. I bleed. Pomegranate as woman, round, swollen, filled with seed. Six seeds a seasonal death sentence to the goddess’s daughter. Oh, Persephone, you fool who cut fruit, peeled away skin, revealed her lover’s secret. A thousand red seeds glow in autumn light as the sharpened tines of a mother’s teeth crack tiny bones. Juice spurts in my mouth, dribbles down my arms, stains my cheeks. I am sticky with Adonis’s blood.┬áThe earth shifts and my shadow lengthens. Together we enter the barren season.

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