The Tree of Knowledge Kirby Wright Micro-Fiction

pages The Tree of Knowledge

by Kirby Wright

Published in Issue No. 278 ~ July, 2020

I’m haunted by diabetes. Metformin twice daily. Finger pricks determine glucose levels after testing strips absorb the sticky drops. This disease is god’s punishment for gobbling fudge at Martha’s Vineyard. Sugared butter on the waterfront shriveled my kidneys and tainted my blood. I cringe whenever catching my reflection off the glass. I resemble my old man after the big operation that did him in.

I used Old Testament tongues at my gate in Kennedy Airport. What I said I’ll never know. Passing pilots winced. I’m certain I’ve had past lives. Perhaps I was Julius Caesar galloping his white steed into battle before the Ides of March.

I pray to Gabriel. I ask him to fly me to the Land of Nod so I can kneel at Abel’s grave. Then I’ll hike west for the Tree of Knowledge, where Cain carved images of Adam and Eve in the trunk. That tree might still be alive. After all, it bore the divine fruit that turned man mortal. I’ll pluck golden apples off its branches and hurl them deep into the sky.


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Kirby Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and the University of California at San Diego. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Wright has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and is a past recipient of the Jodi Stutz Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Robert Browning Award for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel. BEFORE THE CITY, his first poetry collection, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards. Wright is also the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA’I NUI AHINA, both set in Hawaii. He was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. His futuristic novel THE END, MY FRIEND was published in 2013. He published SQUARE DANCING AT THE ASYLUM, a collection of flash fiction, in 2014.