by natasha king
there’s more to the garden
than what others have planted.
so: you have wounds. how carefully we
skirt the angels of our wounds.
I, too, have wounds.
would have you believe
that you are bone, to shape and own.
but I would have you believe
in the earth of your body,
which is yours to sow, and grow, and know.
beloved give me: your wounds to eat,
and I will keep the seeds tucked
under my tongue, safe.
your heart is a bruised apple,
flesh melting to honey under the weight
of life’s gripping hand.
your heart is pressed between your
hands until your veins run with
clear gold, autumn’s first cider. your heart
endures. land of milk and
honey, how cider-sweet our blood.
if we have survived the darkness
of our unknowing, why should we fear the sun
or the seraph’s flaming sword?
all this time: I have been in the desert.
beloved I have waited to know you.
you do not have to thank the snake,
or the apple, or the maker, or the mouth.
under the skin you are knowledge and
you are hard-won. beloved
no tree no god no flameless night
could have held you forever.