What You Don't Know about the Garden of Eden
Bethany T. Lee (bio)

is that Genesis leaves out so much. The kumquats
and ugli trees, goji vines, even a whole host
of virtue plants: the Bush of Spousal Devotion,
with its bloated brown fruit, and the gamey berries

that fell from the Honesty Hedge. Who could stomach
even a little Patience, its milky purple hearts?
Most puzzling to Eve were the trees intended
for future generations—trees that discouraged

children from hoarding Easter candy
or peeing in neighbors’ kidney-shaped pools,
or the one that could keep a boy with a learner’s
permit from riding the clutch. Those fruits

tasted like pulpy water to Eve, their juices
squandered down her chin. But the Garden knew
we’d never put those trees to use, knew that sin
would be the father of all our inventions. Else why place

center; why have it offer the coolest shade
for snakes and smoothest hollows for squirrels,

next to the blood oranges, behind the papayas,
and above the acai that Adam ate by the handful,
"Knowledge didn’t disappoint. It broke open red and sticky
like a pomegranate, each bite a hard, sweet germ.

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