They were once thought impossible to domesticate, 
their sweetness having to be stolen from the shade
of wooded mountains.
Little fruit, beloved of both Aphrodite and Virgin Mother,
yet condemned to grow on its belly swallowing dust all its days.

The bright and delicate flesh
pinched to redness,
a soft point rubby ruby
and stretching out in the earliest shape of desire,
like a bundle of arrows whose design was first taken from tongues
drawn to cautious tip by temptation 
of a dangerous taste. 

God gave every green plant for food,
but crimson must be taken from creation behind the Lord’s back
like the brotherly gore that cried out to God from the hot ground.
One expects each lurid bite to taste of blood.