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Hold the phone, it wasn’t an apple,
apples have seeds and seed-bearers, check,
perfectly fine in vegan Eden,
nor does the story name the fruit,
botanical paradox, fruit without seed,
which even those grapes, supposedly seedless,
have at some stage, albeit vestigial,
and if the tree delighted her eyes,
then Stevens was wrong, beauty in Eden
preceded death, the former the dam,
the latter her brat, aesthetic pleasure
in low-hanging stunners also permissible
and prelapsarian, given refraining
from touching or tasting, but just what sensation
followed her mouthful and subsequent double-take
at fresh sight of him, still oblivious
and suddenly scrumptious, for seconds or minutes
or panicky hours, if he proved stubborn,
unusually obtuse to all of her ogling,
the art of seduction not only fledgling
but lost on him too, immune to her itch.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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