“It’s my night, you know,” she says
to Jesus. “Look how the Seed Moon
hangs from its trellis of stars.”
Jesus sips coffee — milky brown
like his skin — flicks ashes from his cigarette
on the linoleum floor. He hands her a date,
its body plump and red and warm. She bites it
and juice gushes onto her tongue.
“There is another way to eat it,” he says.
“Stone it, stuff it with pine nuts or pepper,
then roll it in salt and fry it in cooked honey.”
I am like the date, she thinks: gutted,
made sweeter and more palatable.
Jesus looks at her, says, “It wasn’t my fault.”
“Perhaps not,” she answers.
Eostre hands Jesus an egg. “I am
the egg. I have climbed over centuries
of bones to get here.” Outside,
neon reflections fuse into puddles
on the rain-dark pavement. Jesus looks
around at the empty coffee shop.
“It’s easier to hide,” he says.
She doesn’t believe him. “Don’t you
miss it? The damp air singeing your skin,
the thrust from seeds deep in the dirt,
the swelling of buds, the scent of sex
that lingers long in the grasses.”
Jesus shrugs, sheepish, runs a hand across
a short stubble of black hair. “It wasn’t
like that for me.” The Tube
rumbles by far beneath their feet.
Jesus cooks rabbit on a stick over
a trash-can fire. Eostre says,”I was saved
by a bird, its wings stiff and heavy with winter
frost. Then the bird became a rabbit.”
He offers her a bite, but she steps away
from the crackle and spit of the flames.
There the moon’s bargain-basement light
bleaches her skin until she is
once more a pearl in the shell of night.
Is this how I die, she wonders, like ashes
of a fire that float into the sky, leaving no trace.
[Julie deGarie was born near the water and now lives in the mountains. She has been writing poetry off and on for many years, but has just recently gotten serious about it. She agrees with Richard Hugo’s assertion that truth should conform to music.]