The Pomegranate

Martha Serpas

On the tray is a pomegranate and
a pot of decaf. Room service.
Blue Oxford tails
wriggle beneath a rough sweater.
See, this is not desire.
This is the snake taunting.
I won’t be able to—I don’t know you.
Clever boy, he gets his own pun.
Night air sags over the cricket’s
pauses as if stunned
by the sudden inconsequence.
Look on from the banks:
a clump of turtles on a half-submerged
log, sunning themselves. They
do not want the dark water.
They leave the clammy bank to us.
Everywhere are oaks, impervious
to Spanish moss, resurrection fern,
crested woodpeckers. Hundreds
of cypress engendering hundreds
of knees fall over into the river.
A long time ago someone said
knowledge and someone else,
wisdom, but that voice
was so lilting and quiet,
the way two women talk
in a garden and the white lilies
lift their trumpets to listen.