Pearls Before Swine

rooting around in the damp earth
I came upon the first pearl
took it between my lips
it tasted like bright lemons and fresh rain
the first laughter birthed by new friendship

the next one burned my mouth
but I swallowed it quickly
the rich spiciness of the first time
he said I was beautiful
and my belly began to hurt for the untruth of it
even as my mouth longed for more

another came shortly after
like sweet honey it coated my tongue
gobbling it up quickly
I found a whole patch of the pale green pearls
the luminescence of good conversation
a give and take, smiles and somber whispers
deep heart-to-hearts, a connection

moving on I quite by mistake
stumbled upon a dirt-colored pearl
I devoured it not thinking
and it soured my belly immediately
like the luster of the uniqueness
which wears off and bitter reality rolls in:
I am nothing special after all

not to be detoured, I rooted around
found a pearl of such great beauty it glowed
it was something unique and rare
tasting of decadence and quiet simplicity
green growing leaves, peppery roses,
and melted chocolate off a lover’s skin

this pearl it was more than I deserved
more than I had ever hoped to find
this pearl, I only sucked on for a moment
before carefully laying it on the dirt
and covering it back up
knowing I was unworthy
of such a precious morsel

I continue on my way, always rooting about
always tasting the different pearls
always hungry, never sated…
I sometimes wonder if that glowing pearl
would have satisfied my belly in the end

tara caribou | ©2020

Read this and more in my poetry book, Four.

19 thoughts on “Pearls Before Swine

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