Children of Paradise: a poem

Staff Writer

Love was easy when we were young.
Our skin was softer then,
We had fewer bones,
Fewer teeth.

Those were days of nectar and ambrosia
And ice cream sandwiches,
When we were scared of monsters under our beds,
Sleeping together, away from the edges
Talking for hours to get the fear out of our heads

We grew older and stopped drinking milk and honey
Our limbs became longer, and you started reaching
For things far from home that I couldn’t fathom
So we ran away from our paradise together

We read poetry but didn’t understand the metaphors
Although we both pretended to, and
Learnt that there are no monsters under our beds,
Only the ones we create in our heads

We survived on cigarettes and wine alone
And before we knew it, we weren’t who we used to be
Our skin has toughened and our teeth have sharpened,
Our bodies have become weapons to wreak havoc with

Love is consume or be consumed
And everything is trying to tear us apart.

You said you were going to run away again
Back to the paradise of our childhoods

This time, you asked me not to come with you.

When the search party found you
They thought you insane, dancing
In the middle of the desert and calling for rain,
Arms outstretched like you were trying to catch water
Falling from the lips of a drunken god.

But I know the truth.
You finally found what you’d gone looking for
And returned to the paradise
We’d known as children.

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