Body of Eden

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Words: Naomi Egan (she/her)

If this body was a garden, it would be verdant

Lush and exalting in green jubilance

Humid sweat and cheeks of clay-red

Watch how the vines tumble from my head

Rivers of hair, from mountaintops fed

Basked in sun, my Sahara tongue

Parched with warmth like a just-shot gun

Smoothed by streams where the water has run

If this body was paradise, it would be a vineyard

The grapes made of tears, my womb and my heart

The wine is so sweet; drink it, please. Be imbibed with this heavenly me

I’m no longer thirsty, my flesh is now free. I have so much to give

And ample energy

The harvest is plentiful, as is good company.

If this body was a haven, I would be at peace

A place where I cease the war on my body; and

Take asylum from bombs under leafy canopies.

The shrapnel dissolves into fertiliser; see

It nourish the ivy, the mushrooms and trees.

The flowers that slip between my toes

The opal dewdrops that bleed down my nose

The air raid no match for a home where love grows.

My garden is a refuge, void of regret

If the flower blooms wonky, no-one blames the stem

If the rain pours too heavy and I’m soaked to my skin

The soil’s lips stretch to a good-natured grin.

In this place where there are only sweet and gentle things

Where storm is mellifluous, wilderness sings

The rain chimes, marimba-like, when it hits my skin

The bullfinches breath; the day can begin

If the grass is bleached dry and the fruit browns and spoils

Unkindness may be drenched, deep in the soil

And blackbirds would chirp in fraught turmoil;

I water the flowerbeds tentatively

I wrap my arms around kind-hearted trees

I rustle and gather up the mulchy leaves

The garden shows its light to me

And paradise is what I see.


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