Life of Carmen

Paean to the pomegranate

Pomegranate3The pomegranate is the sexiest fruit in the world. Every seed bursting, sweet tart and blood red. Splitting one heavy red fruit was a seasonal ritual I shared with my dad. He taught me the trick to eat the pomegranate: you take a fat wedge and break it in two, exposing the gleaming surface of rubies. Then, positioned over a bowl or right above the sink, you dive in face-first and slurp, taking fat full mouthfulls, crunching up the grainy seeds in their juicy envelopes, spraying crimson everywhere. The juice stains the cutting board, the fingers, the face, the clothes. Seeds roll across the floor and into crevices, squash underfoot, leave sticky tracks, causing my mother to curse and implicating my dad and me in messy conspiracy. It is said that the goddess Persophone, kidnapped into the underworld by Hades, was tempted from her long hunger strike to eat six luscious red seeds of the pomegranate, thus committing the earth forever to six months of barren darkness. It was worth it.

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