When I was young,
I saw a picture of a pomegranate in a book
and asked my mother
to bring one home.
She did, and
sliced that lovely skin the color of sunsets,
revealing not the flesh-like pulp I’d imagined,
hard seeds in liquid that looked like blood.
I took some and put them in my mouth.
They made me think of teeth,
rolling on my tongue,
covered in that sanguine juice
something flowing from a wound.
why this was the fruit
Hades had used
to keep Persephone in the underworld.
I could take
photographs of pomegranates forever,
but I will never eat one again.
that skin like the sky
is brutal death.
I wrote this poem a few years ago, and posted a version of it on my old blog. My thoughts on pomegranates haven’t changed, although I’ve gotten to know them better — my mother-in-law gets them from a local farm and laboriously grinds the seeds to make juice (which I always find bitter). Do you have strong feelings about a kind of food?