Sonnet XXXV (The Nocturnal Sonnets) – Jacob T. Reilly

The Nocturnal Sonnets
Sonnet XXXV

Gifted an apple once, I took its sheen
into my hand and breathed upon its skin
then rubbed the steam—condensed, so wet and thin
a film of beady moisture—from off its plain,
red, and round surface; never had I had
this fruit before. A blemish by the stem
was soggy rotten to the touch, like phlegm.
Though over-ripe, I premature was glad
to rip its sugar flesh and eat it whole.
Ancient and hoary now, I feel its seeds
dug deep and deeper burst its crabtree roots,
my veins, its trunk my chest has made its own.
My mouth, my tongue, my arms—its barren limbs—
drop rotten fruit on all my shadow dims.

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One comment

  1. John Henderson · · Reply

    I think of my uncle telling me to not swallow the apple seeds lest they bud and grow. Didn’t catch the full weight of the reference then.

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