The Fruit, John Grey

Philip Kobylarz, Country Music Blues, Photograph




The fruit is all good.
The curves are as delicious as the sink.
She imagines herself in the garden of Eden.
So what if it’s just a kitchen.
This one is rightfully hard.
This one is tender and soft
Unzip the rind
and she delights in the pale flesh.
Then she tilts her head back
to drink down the passion fruit juice.
It amazes her what she can get her hands around,
how her taste buds respond,
what a trip to the market
can bring into her world.
And she loves them spotty
like she once for a man with a scar.
And even the odd-shaped ones,
so that perfection doesn’t have it all
its own way.
Her lips thank her more than any recent kiss.
Her stomach can’t thank her enough.
The bite has replaced romance
and she can’t say that she misses the latter.
Not while she can nibble.
Not while the blemished and the shiny
both have such appeal.
From the apples to the oranges,
it’s all hers and hers alone.
Feeling old, fermented and fetid herself these days,
she can still appreciate a ripeness.

John Grey


Review by Theric Jepson

On the list of things I love are Garden of Eden reimaginings and literature that treats the eating of fruit as the equivalent of sex. The poem does both well. The final turn in the last two lines, making our hero as “fermented and fetid” as the deliciously ripe fruit she devours, serves as a reminder that, no matter how far we are from Eden, life still offers pleasure aplenty for those wise enough to take them. This woman is my role model.

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