– By Charlene Fix
She sees an actor savoring a pomegranate in a film,
then buys one from a grocer mounding some, and
stains her table slicing it and stains her mouth and chin
storming its hive, her teeth and tongue dislodging clusters of seeds,
piercing, sucking, swallowing the crimson juice
all the while wondering, as in love, if she’s doing it right
though going at it anyway with awkward zest.
She spits the stripped and harried pulp to a plate
but lets some seeds slide down. This seals her fate.
For deep inside, a longing grows for pomegranate’s
wild sweet tang, a melody that plays beyond the reach
of hearing in her head, an a priori shape aware of its own emptiness.
She marries, pomegranate blush upon her face, the swallowed
seeds both template of the future and her link to death.
Poem / Charlene Fix, from “Frankenstein’s Flowers,” CW Books 2014
Charlene Fix is the author of “Flowering Bruno,” a dog-besotted collection of poems with illustrations by Susan Josephson (XOXOX Press 2006, finalist for the 2007 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry), “Mischief” (poems, Pudding House Press 2003), “Charlene Fix: Greatest Hits” (poems, Kattywompus Press 2012), “Harpo Marx as Trickster” (critical study of Harpo in the 13 Marx Brothers’ films, McFarland 2013) and “Frankenstein’s Flowers” (poems, CW Books 2014). Fix co-coordinates Hospital Poets at the Ohio State University Hospitals and is an emeritus professor of English at Columbus College of Art and Design.
Picture / Sara Caswell-Pearce, “Semillas de la muerte (Seeds of death),” 2016, mixed media collage.
According to Pearce, “The collage grew in response to the poem, but also to the time of year. Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated in various ways throughout Central and South America, but the holiday as we know it in the United States is most widely associated with Mexico. It begins Nov. 1 and ends Nov. 2, and is a festive way of honoring the dead. It dates back to the ancient Aztecs with added influences of Catholicism (All Saints Day and All Souls Day). Skeletons, and especially skulls, are central to Day of the Dead. They were kept by the Aztecs as a symbol of life after death.”