Is this how she felt millennia
ago while sheltering in Eden’s refuge?
Like her, I want for nothing in this place.
My cupboard’s filled with bags of rice and beans.
My freezer’s stocked with chicken, beef, and pork.
The bedroom blooms with pleasure like a garden.
The only thing that’s missing is the sun—
red like apples, cherries, pomegranates
setting against the backdrop of a city
that’s now a ghost town. Standing in her garden,
naked, did she gaze beyond the walls
of her home, like I do every dusk,
looking out the window, smudging it
with her palms, and weep for what she misses?
This fragile flesh, these fragile bones, be damned.
Mortality and paradise be damned.
Is this the ache she felt within her heart
to get back to the toil of the living?
Katherine Hoerth is the author of five poetry collections, including the forthcoming Flare Stacks in Full Bloom (Texas Review Press, 2021). She is the recipient of the 2021 Poetry of the Plains Prize from North Dakota State University Press and the 2015 Helen C. Smith Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters for the best book of poetry in Texas. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines including Atticus, Valparaiso Review, and Southwestern American Literature. She is an assistant professor at Lamar University and editor of Lamar University Literary Press.