When did this become your calling card?
Your beacon, your in-joke, your perfume
Whose notes of decay were so much stronger
When we were seventeen, or younger,
So young to be so willing, sugar in our hands
For the horses of the Underworld.
When did you become this other fruit?
Red and ripe amidst the leaves still falling,
Against the soft grass still green and fragrant,
So scandalously naked of symbolism.
What happened to that pale honeycomb
Lined with crimson drops of perdition?
I know you’re only waiting; soon enough
Our fingers will run bloody with those seeds
And we’ll gorge on preserves from hell’s larder.
My fingers poised to pluck this challenge,
I try to remember that tart, fatal taste,
The bite of your bed of cold breezes.
I know you can wait forever; yet every year
You give me this option, open this dance
With an irresistible red invitation in your hand.
I reach toward it like I reach for the key
You wear around your snowy neck, for me:
It’s the way out, whichever door I choose.