Monday 4/10/2006 10:00:00 PM

He stared at me with a chlorine gaze. I felt so faded. That I'd been in that moment some time in the past. Somewhere I'd once found myself lost, but had long come to believe I'd escaped. It was much too late for pompous hearts to be hocking their knock-off wares.

I examined every inch of that apple, but could find no evidence there had ever been a stem.

Or maybe it's just looking back that I make myself so much more astute. There is no naivete in memory. Nor damsels in distress. Paper dresses in the rain.

Just moments. So many moments landing gracefully like butterflies alighting on open hands.

The apple I bit reluctantly. But bit it still the same. It was candy-coated. A trick question. Couldn't get it wrong or right. Just a taste of something I might never taste again.

There's no sin, only instinct leading on us along the paths of its pendantic parades.

And the core at the center of all that sweet flesh concealing its poison. Poison, so vilified most by those who crave it.

No need to know what is true. That mirror only pretends. With gated abstracts that tether the feel of the real as it ignites our skin. Every flame burns no matter how small it is.

You lose. Only lose when you want to. This is the worst of knowing. Every defeat my own.

His chagrin a garland around my throat. The sharp tinsel of obviousness forcing me to look again at the empty under the tree. No gifts.

Just morning in all its stark appeal.

Telling me without so many words that I shouldn't want what I've never had.

The gypsy in her spell. The autumn in the leaf.

As it silently crashes to the ground.

The steadfast whims of frenzied lovers and born-again alcoholics. So much lost. So much still to lose before I'm finished.

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