RSVP

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.

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24 thoughts on “RSVP

  1. I indulged too:

    RSVP 敬請賜覆

    When did this become your calling card?這何曾變成了你的名片?
    Your beacon, your in-joke, your perfume 你的信號,你的笑話,你的香氣
    Whose notes of decay were so much stronger 那腐味曾是多麼的強烈
    When we were seventeen, or younger, 那時你我可能未到十七
    So young to be so willing, sugar in our hands 幼得那樣情願,手握著糖
    For the horses of the Underworld. 送給陰間的馬

    When did you become this other fruit? 曾幾何時你成了這果?
    Red and ripe amidst the leaves still falling, 紅,熟地躺在落葉間?
    Against the soft grass still green and fragrant, 靠著未黃的青草發香
    So scandalously naked of symbolism. 無意義的丟人現眼
    What happened to that pale honeycomb 那蒼白的蜂巢何往
    Lined with crimson drops of perdition? 皺著滴紅的不復還?

    I know you’re only waiting; soon enough我知道你只在等待;不久
    Our fingers will run bloody with those seeds 我們的手會因果子血紅
    And we’ll gorge on preserves from hell’s larder.會狼吞虎嚥地
    吃光那魔藏的蜜餞
    My fingers poised to pluck this challenge, 我的手未決定摘下這挑戰
    I try to remember that tart, fatal taste, 我嘗試回憶那致命的酸味
    The bite of your bed of cold breezes. 那一房的咬人冷風

    I know you can wait forever; yet every year 我知道你能永遠等待;但每年
    You give me this option, open this dance 你都讓我選擇,開這個舞會
    With an irresistible red invitation in your hand. 你手上的血色請柬不可抗拒
    I reach toward it like I reach for the key 我向它伸手,就像我向你取匙
    You wear around your snowy neck, for me: 你為我帶在雪白脖子上的匙
    It’s the way out, whichever door I choose. 它能打開我決定選擇的出路

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    1. 說不出話來。。。 Thank you so much, Mary; I will enjoy rereading this again tonight when I have the time it deserves. One of the first things that delighted me: I didn’t know the Underworld is 陰間. That is so appropriate to this poem I just about fell off my chair. ^_^ 多謝,朋友。

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you approve. It’s actually still a work in progress; that’s why I have not recorded it yet. Also I am unwell and my voice is croaky and my lungs would not support long sentences, but I thought I would post it anyway. The version on my blog is more recent; I was not able to change what I’d posted on yours.

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      2. I look forward to the finished product because you know I love your readings. I’m sorry you’re also under the weather (if you have a spring cold, I have an autumn one)… 我們倆早日康復!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I have an obsessive compulsive language learning disorder… which results in some interesting things coming out of my mouth — Chespañol mainly, these days. Writing is much safer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s when you go to say something in Spanish and Chinese comes out. You’d think those two languages would be so different that would never happen, but nope! All the time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mandarin is what I learned and what my local Chinese friends speak. But if I spoke Cantonese that would be even más chido — I’m working on it! Cantonese just sounds much more rich and satisfying to me, thanks to a couple extra tones. When Mary Tang records her translation of this poem on her blog I’ll let you know; it will be amazing. 🙂

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  2. although my favorite poem of yours is Cold Comfort so far, this is also beautiful..your second paragraph is nothing but magic !somehow i want more poetry from you sunshine..can you explain my nerve by saying this?..i know its demanding and selfish but i ll choke if i don’t say it ..haha.

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    1. I love your nerve, Geo. 🙂 And I will happily oblige… Thanks for reminding me about Cold Comfort too; been thinking about putting a chapbook together and these two will be my centerpieces…

      Liked by 1 person

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