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Pomegranate Queen

From: New England Review
Volume 34, Number 3-4, 2014
p. 48 | 10.1353/ner.2014.0019

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Not the one with the sash, but the slash.
Phoenicians had their reasons, part origin story
for seasons, part religious myth, and this is partly why
this Christmas I found for you a fruitful grenade,
an apple of a little purse you can pull the pin from
when you need my attention. Only you
should disarm each dormant fire alarm
waiting for the skin—the yellow-red between
a half-healed bruise—to crack and be torn back
so we can see the cells the human eye is blind to
in blood blown up. I know you know red’s number.

Your grip, your reign, is tough and tender as a brain
crossed with a life-size heart and a horizontal
hope-to-die-trying. Color’s crucial. Your surreptitious kisses
are richer when you try dyeing your lips a gothic red
from those rubies you hide under your tongue.

Show me that lustrous scarlet ribbon hidden
in your mouth as in a Bible marking last things,
for you are more Madonna of the Pomegranate
holding the child holding the fruit holding
the seeds like vermillion bees to be born
from a crimson honeycomb. How long
will you question what it wants before your winter sleep?
When done running your tongue
among the last of this poem, I don’t worry
over those little bits of moist paper you spit
like pretty adjectives, your saliva shining
on them like the pink tint of the winter sun
setting on the Mediterranean off Mojácar.
From mouth to mouth, we can pass the secret
like a clandestine jewel in wartime, each fourteen carat
garnet kernel, teardrop-tactile honey apple ending
on that wild-cherry-grapeseed bite. Feed me, come
with your 365 chambers blazing in one heart,
and we will drink. And that intoxicating aftertaste of ink.

John Poch  

John Poch’s most recent book is Dolls (Orchises Press, 2009). He is professor of English at Texas Tech University. In Spring 2014 he will be a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Barcelona, lecturing on the subject of American poetry.

Copyright © 2014 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
John Poch. "Pomegranate Queen." New England Review 34.3 (2014): 48-48. Project MUSE. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Poch, J.(2014). Pomegranate Queen. New England Review 34(3), 48. Middlebury College. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
John Poch. "Pomegranate Queen." New England Review 34, no. 3 (2014): 48-48. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed February 28, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - Pomegranate Queen
A1 - John Poch
JF - New England Review
VL - 34
IS - 3
SP - 48
EP - 48
PY - 2014
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v034/34.3-4.poch.html
N1 - Volume 34, Number 3-4, 2014
ER -

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