A Seed, A Crutch, A Heart



from the pig’s slit throat a red carpet unrolls
all his life he’s been fed for this

the matron of honour lays birds’ eggs in her braid
they’ll seal the nuptial kiss with their hatching

the bride’s kin descends from the hills making wide gestures
with splintered hands, carrying the scent of humus and wolves

they meet at crossroads and laugh through the ruins of their teeth
as they hand the groom a gun

when he shoots the apple off the bride’s head
a seed flies into her eye and grows into a seedling

clumsy virgins flirt with guests’ lapels, pin rosemary
for fidelity, flaunt drops of blood from pricked fingers

the bride holds back from pulling a loose thread
off the priest’s vestment lest it unstitch him

she back-flips her bouquet towards a young widow
marked with mourning, but the wind blows it back

the groom’s hand mounts the bride’s over the knife
his thumb crushes a frosted rose beneath the arbour

when midnight snips the marionette strings
the bride and groom collapse, cannot hold each other up

the groom chops the slender apple tree
and carves crutches, etches a heart in her iris


an apple tree grows from youth’s eye
youth saw through its white bow

an apple thumped youth on the head
youth was never the same again

they cut the apple tree to protect youth
somebody etched a heart on the stump

that’s all that remains in youth’s eye
and a flicker now and then

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