In the Garden with the God by Adelina Sarkisyan


There is no you without me. I’m hiding in the garden but in the middle is his terrifying arm, reaching, and I am deciding where I belong. Finally, I am naked. I remember shame as a gift I was given at birth. Mixed with mother-milk, a strange fruit I peel every day, now, forever. I swallow, say thank you, more. Please. Please? Beneath me, you are building a home. You decide on babies and fields and moons and tasting, a replica of living. I emerge from your grip, slick and imprecise, more animal, more something else. What if I say this is an initiation? In the end I might say I knew it all along.


Where do I enter? Is this where my mouth goes? Such a clumsy way to define desire. Not a girl, but the shape of a girl. The insides taste like jelly. Can I try it again? And again? I am almost real. I almost shiver. What do you imagine when making love? I hear my name echo through him and I can’t sustain the afterlove. I lose some of it. It falls onto the grass, stains the green body red. The animals devour like candy. You look the same as the others. But your insides. Red of devotion. Heart-fruit, spilling over and into and through. Let me in. Open wide. I can fit anywhere now. Oh, I’ve spoiled you. I’ve found you out. Do you hear me, or are you too busy dying?


The myths warn against looking. How unready I was. Once, I fell in love with a voice, or maybe it was his night moving through my trees. I was initiated by the hand that shone through the opening. Trust grew like black, shiny mold. And the face of love, that terrible god. In every story, I find myself in hell, next to that odd queen. In this version, you still find me and I still die, which means I take your hand. The dream is a contract. Next time, let’s meet in the garden and smell the stars. Next time, I will be allowed to be beautiful. What are you waiting for? Turn around. Open your eyes. Don’t you dare.


Adelina Sarkisyan is an Armenian-American writer and editor from Los Angeles. She holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology and a graduate degree in social work. She was a therapist in a former life. She lives in dreams. Follow her everchanging moods on Twitter @sheisadelina and Instagram @adelinasarkisyan.