I used to buy apples and put them on the countertops
just to watch disease spread across their skin. Just
to see them become more seed than flesh, more cyanide
than sugar. It was a test of faith. To set my mind to God.

Once, and only once, I weakened. Gave in to temptation,
bit into an apple that was so soft with rot that my teeth
sank straight through. I spat it right out, so proud of starving,
so starving for pride. Yet what is done cannot be undone.

Eve, she called me. Labeled my hunger sin.

That night, I threw away all the apples, the sweet stink of
decay filling my lungs. I savored the ache in my stomach,
swore the serpent would not fool me again. Knelt
on the bathroom tile and prayed with two fingers down my throat.

Made myself a skeleton and called it Eden.


-Naomi Louie