by Kate Bickham

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Even fruit has its dangers.
“Lover, come. A bite, a bite.”
I part my knees and he forgets.

I’ve heard of what a bite can do, I thought,
as he nibbled at me, hungry. An appetite
can leave you living in the Land of Nod.

He thinks I suffer. Oh, lover.
The victory of turning shoulder blades
to couplets, of the rails of collarbones;

of knuckle punctuated fingers bent
to hide the cracking nails. What lightness.
“Come now, a pomegranate seed.”

I remember my mother’s summer suppers,
bay leaves and basil up from the earth
and her proud fingers pinching
the plump white excess of my arm.
Still I taste the blueberries and cream
and seem, sometimes, to feel them here inside
swelling, half-alive, around my hips.

He dips me back, cradling my neck.
“Open your mouth. It’s just a seed.”
The first weed in the garden grows.

I didn’t heed her one and only warning:
Swallow something in a place,
and you belong to it forever.

Kate Bickham is a graduate student of Liberal Arts at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.  She is currently constructing a collection of poems based on the myth of Persephone and Demeter.

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