Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Iniquity, O Lord, can be delicious:
always in season, always tender, sweet,
blushing, and aromatic. Not capricious
it always hangs low, begging us to eat.
One night, I stripped a neighbor’s tree of pears—
not grade A pears, but seconds grown for swine—
taking them not because the fruit was theirs,
nor yet because I wanted it for mine.
The only flavor in the act was sin
itself, in which we ever hope to gain
that lie the serpent promised Eve she’d win
by holding your commandment in disdain.
And so my hands grew sticky with crime’s dew.
Yet in this, Lord, your hand pulled me toward you.

—Duane K. Caylor