Ripe fruit split open down the centre,
revealing glistening gems, succulent and full,
taut with ready juices, held by thin skins
ready to burst with only the slightest urging.
And urge he does, this time with words and reason,
his violence gone, the damage done,
she, deflowered, petals scattered through the field,
her cries unheeded and unheard.
It’s not hell, they say, but Hades. Tell that
to a girl of green, whose mother warms the earth,
whose steps set roots, fertile beyond measure,
now a seed set deep in barren, frigid stone.
She pulls them one by one and one by one
and one by one again,
and cups them in her hand, jewel-like and freed.
She rolls them on her tongue, sharp points,
smooth curves, fragile packages
as sweet as honey, as rich as a woman.
Their skins give way to ivory urgings,
releasing damning tartness to her waiting tongue,
a crimson deluge down her narrow throat, savoured,
but at cost. Not seeds, but a sentence,
each one rooting her beneath the ground,
as solidly as stone, while the world above her sleeps
beneath a blanket, white as his skin of his hands,
white as the flesh of the fruit she holds.
Six by six, a sacrifice in ruby lustre and inate desire,
a longing cry for home.
[Jessica Jo Horowitz is a Korean-born writer living in New England where she studies circus arts, Asian mythology and historical sword work. Previous works have appeared in Grievous Angel, Eye to the Telescope, Star*line, and others.]