Ode to the Pomegranate

by Flora Snowden


when I felt awake for the first time all week
I pulled a butter knife
from the sponge-cleaned jam jar
that lovingly holds my utensils
and I slid it in six straight lines
around the curved edges of the pomegranate
whose outer flesh had begun to dry and darken
and I was surprised
by how well the knife cut through
the almost wrinkling skin
and I was glad that the night before,
when I had wanted to feel anything
other than empty,
that I had not known its capability
then, digging my tips into the slight
gaps I had made
I pulled off this pomegranate’s top–
and I beamed
with a grandness I can remember feeling
underneath a cherry tree at seven years old
hundreds of crystal-cut rubies that
must have been mined from the wine-dark sea
and oh, of course, here she comes–
I get it now
Persephone’s thirst
because this color has a powerful pull
it pulled me up dancing
feet skipping
my hips swinging
heart beating, beating, beating
left hand holding my pomegranate
while the fingers of my right
drop rubies into my mouth
recklessly–three at a time!
popping them between my teeth so that
they squirt about my mouth
wetting my tongue with rich blood
so alive
in my small home
blessing each barefoot step
racking sobs from my chest for the few strokes
of deep peony that found their way
to my right forearm in all the ruckus
This shook me
with hands firm on each side
just above my waist so that I can now feel
how my body moves for itself,
my ribs stretching out so that my breath
can snuggle in
my heart still pounding through to the sky
of my chest
my cheeks are blushed and panting
their color worn to match my now stained fingertips
now the paint of my will
who tonight, chose its own color
thank you,
I am gasping
Thank you


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