Brooke Sahni

I Like to Imagine
It is our imagination that is responsible for love.
           —Esther Perel

I like to imagine Eve, naked, of course, falling in love with Adam. Not because he made her feel safe or comfortable, but because he made her feel ravenous. I like to imagine Eve imagining. Adam who had dissed her in the morning and gotten moody. Adam who said, I’ll be back soon and wasn’t. Now it’s the golden hour and Eve, leaning against the tree, imagines another, more prosperous tree and Adam with a woman with bigger tits, fuller lips, the two diving into each other’s mouths—no one will ever kiss Eve the way he does—and Eve, feeling both desire and jealousy, the close cousins of want, gets wet. The more she imagines, the wetter she gets. Adam finding beauty without her, Adam at a distance eating thinly sliced figs from the navel of another, Adam so capable of forgetting her for an afternoon and so, Eve had never wanted him more. And because she aches, she reaches. The fruit is sweet. On her second bite he sneaks up behind her, grabbing her at the ribs. I missed you, he says. So she tosses the fruit into the brush and takes his hand in to feel her.




In the beginning, I was so full on you, I could hardly eat.
New lovers, you fed me each piece of your novelty—

arms, breath, skin, words—

In bed together for days, we barely moved.
Yes, there was sun.

Now I am thinking it’s absence that we need
in order to know we’re full.

In the beginning, I could watch you across a room
and delight in what existed in between

our distance. Because I didn’t know you, I
believed, again, we were creating something new.

Everything was novel and nothing was full,
so we were filled.

My beloved, I love you, but you are so close now.

Just for a moment I’d like to touch you in the dark
and not mistake you as mine.



Brooke Sahni’s poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in magazines such as Denver Quarterly, The Journal, The Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, The Missouri Review, Nimrod and elsewhere. Her debut full-length poetry collection, Before I Had the Word, won the 2020 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, selected by Maggie Smith and is forthcoming in October. She is also the author of Divining (Orison Books, 2020), which won the Orison Chapbook Prize.