Six pomegranate seeds

Seven, eight, nine, ten.

The red juice stains her white dress

(Her mother will be furious,

She says with a smile)

That smile

Like the first colour of saffron dawn,

Like the touch of a river to bare ankles,

Like a knife through the heart.

There is red in her hair

Where the light strikes it

(He can't remember when

He stopped noticing the monochrome)

He wants to feel the blood

Pulse in the hollow of her neck

See it rise

To her cheeks as she laughs:


She may laugh:

No blood will rise to light her face,

Her eyes will not sparkle,

Her heart will not beat fast

Her heart will not beat.

He half wishes he could take it back,

Wishes he could never have seen

Dancing feet, vibrant hands.

Flowers grew in her footsteps

And now there are only

Six pomegranate seeds

Six and no more.