Louise Gluck




Pomegranate

First he gave me 
his heart. It was 
red fruit containing 
many seeds, the skin 
leathery, unlikely. 
I preferred 
to starve, bearing 
out my training. 
Then he said Behold 
how the world looks, minding 
your mother. I 
peered under his arm: 
What had she done 
with color & odor? 
Whereupon he said Now there 
is a woman who loves 
with a vengeance, adding 
Consider she is in her element: 
the trees turning to her, whole 
villages going under 
although in hell 
the bushes are still 
burning with pomegranates. 
At which 
he cut one open & began 
to suck. When he looked up at last 
it was to say My dear 
you are your own 
woman, finally, but examine 
this grief your mother 
parades over our heads 
remembering 
that she is one to whom 
these depths were not offered.