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IthacaLit   Literary Magazine: Lit with Art © 2011

All individual works copyrighted by their authors. All rights reserved.

First Credit IthacaLit. ISSN: 2372-4404

Gregory LOSELLE, Spring 2019

Eden

 

Just inside the window three green cups

sit, broken, on the counter. A handful of spoons

form rolling hills behind. A piece of ruby candy

melts across the tile, oozes into a crack, snakes

sticky tendrils down. A tipped bowl of pretzels,

mouth down, scatters like the windfall fruit

 

in the orchard outside. These are the fruits

the former gatherers left behind: uneaten pretzels

upset as the car horn blew, the fumbled cups

judged not worth bringing along. Candied

over with dust like sugar-frost, the spoons

cast light back through the window as snakes

 

arch among the orchard’s bruising fruit. Snakes

and apples and the house empty as a shattered cup;

the occupants, the harvesters, the tasters of the fruit,

evicted. How? Trace constellations in the pretzels,

read the I Ching in the pattern of the spoons

cast like reeds, pick out the softened candy

 

at the heart of the mess. Anything can die,

anyone move away, leaving rotting fruit

like unkept promises. Light from the window snakes

across the kitchen, casting random pretzels

in high relief, the salted shadows cupped

and curved in the dull bowls of the spoons.

 

Wind blows through the trees, sighs for the spoons

forsaken and unstacked, frets at how the candy

melting onto the tiles invades the grout, snakes

toward the counter’s edge. What doesn’t bear fruit

is borne away. What can’t be contained in a cup

scatters after us, like an upset bowl of pretzels:

 

nothing is impossible to understand—cells

and molecules, nail-parings and the rotten peels of fruit

cast off in the grass like the skins left by snakes

outgrowing their old forms. Who can die

without leaving behind the nick at the spoon’s

edge, the print of a lip across the crack in the cup?

Gregory Loselle has won four Hopwood Awards at The University of Michigan, where he earned an MFA. He has won The Academy of American Poets Prize, the William van Wert Fiction Award from Hidden River Arts, and The Ruby Lloyd Apsey Award for Playwriting. He was the winner of the 2009 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, The Robert Frost Award of The Robert Frost Foundation, and the Rita Dove Prize for poetry (where he won both First Prize and an Honorable Mention) at Salem College. He has won multiple awards in the Poetry Society of Michigan’s Annual Awards Competition. His first chapbook, Phantom Limb, was published in 2008, and another, Our Parents Dancing, in 2010, both from Pudding House Press. Two more, The Whole of Him Collected, and About the House, were published by Finishing Line Press in 2012 and 2013 respectively. His short fiction has been featured in the Wordstock and Robert Olen Butler Competition anthologies, as well as in The Saturday Evening Post, and The Metro Times of Detroit, and his poetry has appeared in The Ledge, Oberon, The Comstock Review, Rattle, The Georgetown Review, River Styx, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Pinch, Alehouse, Poetry Nook, Sow’s Ear, and online in The Ambassador Poetry Project, among others.