In times of high stress I purposely starve,
living on as little as a large apple a day.
Nothing compares to the taste of that fruit,
carefully selected, as the treasure it is.
Smooth carmine Braeburn,
the numinous topaz of Honey-Crisp,
the soft, pear-like odour of a ripened Golden Spire.
They are my friends in my reduction,
feeding nightly hallucinatory dreams
on their white sacramental flesh.
The moments of knife on cutting board
consume all thought, whatever fear I have
is washed away in juices, absorbed
into sculpted pine-wood.
I leave the wafer core,
the almond tasting seeds
(containing bitter toxin)
and slide the sliced smiles
into my Nana’s crystal ice-cream bowl.
I eat it ceremoniously, slow,
conscious only of flavors
in burst after burst
of sweet blood on my tongue.
All my days lead up to this.
All of my fears; publication, achievement,
my family’s opinion, the art I make or neglect,
the perils of money made in too small amount,
my husband’s cloying, unquestionable love,
the length of time left in life,
that must be endured,
fades into the fat-burst joy of fruit.
For the length of the meal
I am obliterated,
as my fat melts away (another benefit)
in the fast course of weeks,
my bones rear up through thin apple-skin,
my skull emerges in the mirror
through withering flesh, eaten as fruit,
and for a few weeks
out of each season
I find comfort in death.
I am so close to home.