Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The catch of a kiss

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October First

brings you an apple and the stain of a kiss.
The apple is from Cassie, who, realizing
she is running late, plucks a red one from
the autumn basket in her hotel room to give
to the driver waiting patiently for his last
charge to arrive, the others excited to begin
the half-day’s tour in the back of the Jeep.

She appears at last, the round ripeness
of her lips poised and rouged behind the
extended fruit that as I take it in my hand
releases the catch of a kiss as morning sun
clears the trees to light the stain of a scarlet
butterfly that stays ‘til noon on my cheek.

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These are the gifts given and received
when the season turns its business to
the ripeness of dying, when all that was
delivered for two seasons comes due,
the becoming given over now to taking,
when bees and sugarwasps feast on the
crush of what swelled so long on the vine.

I take these and keep them for as long as
they are mine, the red feast of eating apples,
the rich banquet of a single kiss, the short
season that gathers in the human heart, the
long season that surrenders it up, the deep
harvest that yields its brief nectar of living
to savor through the winterbearing to come.

Joseph Gallo
October 2, 2011


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