First Pomegranate

By Alison Stone

Which part of this crimson

honeycomb to eat? And how?  Sun

highlights the knife’s blade, stripes the room

like prison bars.


I watch you scoop seeds, then copy;

savor sweet-tart bursts

as red pearls open.

Your food soothes me, your kind,

scratched-by-smoke-and-whiskey voice.

You must meditate, Sweet Pea.

Learn to let go. You’re just like me

at that age – beautiful and charming,

far too stubborn.


Not with you.

I read the Trungpa books

you lend me, obey

traffic signs, take vitamins.


Juice stains your lips.

Suddenly clumsy, I spill

water, lose my spoon in the shag

rug. I’ve had offers, always thought

I didn’t fancy women.

Your blond hair.

Your breasts.

No one is that heterosexual.


Now I understand why my ex-boyfriend

sucked a chain of bruises down my neck

the first time I said yes.

Not passion, possession.

“Friend” is a pallid word.

Mentor, motherish though not kin,

I have no way

to mark you mine.


This jaundiced light’s

too bright. It slices

my hand as I dig in the devoured

pomegranate’s rind for hidden seeds.

Your husband

due back soon.

Your voice, your hair.

My hunger.

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