Fruit of the tree

The branches of the pomegranate tree sagged for six days while their yield ripened. By the final evening the murky red skin split, unable to stretch farther across the bulging fruit. The goldenrod sunset flickered through the branches, reflecting off the glistening amber-red seeds.

I did not pick the pomegranate. I left it where it had bloomed, though I did cup it in my hands. I pressed my lips to its edge and the skin trembled between my mouth and the fruit within. The seeds were still warm with the heat of the sun, not sweet as honey but tasting instead of themselves, tart and light and complex.

The evening dusk obscured my red mouth, my dripping chin. The fruit remained on the bough, still thick with promise but spread wide, open and depleted.

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