by Judith Skillman

When the Cherry
rustles above her head
she hardly realizes
why she leaves
her clothes on the rocks,

passes a hand absently
through water
as if smoothing
an infant’s forehead.
Instead she takes the fruit

pressed into her hand
and watches the bloody stone
wet her fingers.
Wasn’t sweetness always
a symbol for their falling.

She walks with the man
along the river bank
until they come to know
the sore places
in the soles of their feet,

the fish knifing away.
Under the currents
every death moves in time
towards them,
each cliché is soothed

into language
as if there were
no way to limit
Paradise, other than
this that has already happened.

Last updated May 02, 2015