Jill Dery


If I had wanted ease,
I would have picked an apple.
Its skin is just as red—
one bite reveals its mystery.

The French make work by paring apples first.
With each slow slice, strips of skin
uncurl and fall into their laps.
The pallid flesh—now turning brown—is best left unseen.

There’s no clean way to slice a pomegranate.
The knife goes through, seeds burst and bleed,
the leather skin and pith are pried apart—
the ruby lobes still hide in corners and beneath white film.

The work is long and messy.
But as I stand here, coaxing each seed to drop into a bowl,
mind, heart, and bone come loose and swirl into the sink
and I remember this—

Eve in the Garden acted out of curiosity;
Persephone, raped and lonesome in the Underworld,
was driven by despair.
Both were hungry.


Jill Dery has published stories in Bellingham Review, 13th Moon, Fourteen Hills, and The MacGuffin; she’s published poetry in Antiphon and San Pedro River Review and has poems forthcoming in the Tule Review 2018 issue. She received an MFA in poetry from UC Irvine. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she’s lived in Anchorage, AK, since 1992.