by Andreas John Kamateros
It is the morning after the fall. The unwashed linen sheets upon the bed still possess the perfumed scent of lavender and lilacs, of oriental and Arabian spices reminiscent of camphor and myrrh, a subtle hint of epicurean delights. Exotic aromas couple with feminine perspiration—wrought by a familiar kind of friction—and linger throughout like smoky incense upon the stale, suffocating air. Her ghost leaves a palpable presence within the room and haunts my mind with irrepressible recollections of our mortal sin.
On the one nightstand nearest the bed, a bowl of fruit rests—picturesque—still as life. I reach over with listless effort, knocking the object and its contents to the littered floor. I force myself out of bed to gather the fallen—when a flash of memories overcomes me. I desperately rummage through the fruit and press each to my lips, longing for her.
A cornucopia of ambrosia lay before me—should I not have partaken of the glorious feast? The lips were lusciously tart like the taut skin of cherries. Fleshy and yielding to each nibble, the juicy earlobes seemed like divinely plucked white grapes. The coarse texture of the tongue, even in wantonness, was so approximate to a strawberry’s seed-encrusted coat that I can still taste its sweetness in my saliva. Her nipples were faintly sour as the surface of a lemon or perhaps—more fondly recalled—flavored with a mandarin’s citrus tang. A layer of beaded sweat left a brackish bite upon the aureoles, bitter as if in warning. Those milky breasts were as firm, yet pulpy, as the large overripe pears of some forbidden, unspoiled orchard. Her candied mound, like a coconut cleaved open, released its musty breath to sting the nostrils and the creaminess frothed with a savory vanilla tinge upon my tongue—eliciting part pleasure, part revulsion. Alas, I should have fasted! So much made of one bad apple.
Shall I never kiss, never touch, never taste, nor ever possess her again? Her spirit stirs within me and then, in a gently exhaled breath, vanishes from the room and from my life. Alone I find myself once more, trembling from the sudden withdrawal—from the looming darkness and chill of divine love’s dying embers. I am the last fruit of Eden. Like so much of imperial Adam’s1 passion, I willingly—and for all time—perish, utterly consumed.
1 With a nod to A. D. Hope’s poem “Imperial Adam.”