And I Did Eat
Like any good atheist, all I do is write about God. Malum to malus, Eve was the first disorder- ly eater. Behold the riches of the body. The fig is no fruit gleaming, a crowning jewel birthed between folds of her hallowed self. Taste the unraveling of this inverted flower, filled with male lovers of paper nests … tucked stings and crawling hope. Blossomed unto openings, they are blind, flightless. Incestuous. Desperate. (A burrowing to freedom—pardon the egress.) A woman loves a woman, starving in traps, sure in this undoing. Inter- petals open, ripen for my lips. What have I done? Lady, you beguiled me and I did eat. * The opening line is a nod to a letter by Sylvia Plath to “Father Bart” dated 21 November 1962 in which she writes, “I am myself, ironically, an atheist. And like a certain sort of atheist, my poems are God obsessed, priest-obsessed. Full of Marys, Christs and nuns.” ** The line “Eve was the first disorder- / ly eater” is inspired by Deprivation and Power by Patricia McEachern in which she writes, “The first woman was the original and quintessential disorderly eater” (pp. 1).
Jessica Mehta is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and multi-award-winning author. Space, place, and ancestry in post-colonial America inform much of her work. Learn more at www.thischerokeerose.com.