©2009 by Jennifer Honeycutt. May not be reproduced without permission.
Biting the Apple
A red-ragged old woman totters up the path,
clutching tarnished tongs and cloth-covered basket.
Her smoke-gritted voice calls through my door,
“Apples for sale! Polished red apples, pretty as a pink cheek.
Glossy apples to match a young girl’s glossy eyes.”
My forgotten dust rag falls to the floor as I imagine
biting into a ripe red apple, juice slipping down my chin,
eyes closing as the sweet saccharine flavor
nests on my tongue like a lover.
I imagine my teeth slicing through the smooth red skin,
snapping into the crisp reward that lies just below.
I imagine each crunch is a tiny detonation
against teeth and tongue, a breathtaking rush of sugar
that yanks my corset tight to my chest.
I draw in a hard breath, panting with hunger.
The old woman calls again. I open the door.
Selling the Apple
“Apples for sale!”
I cry over and over at her cottage door,
gritting my teeth against the clean smell of the forest.
She’s clad in a thin white corset dress, hand clutching bosom,
breathing heavily as she stares unseeing through the glass.
Oh yes, Snow White, you will love this apple.
This apple will love you.
With one crisp bite, pretty poison will travel
over your tongue and down your throat,
seep into your pink gums like melting chocolate.
Your fingers will tingle as the poison ignites your body,
seizing red blood cells and breath as it goes.
Its tentacles will spread and rope around your brain,
ringing in your head like a bluebird’s song.
Your eyesight will turn black and fade away,
so you won’t see me as I lay my hand over your mouth.
With your final gasp, I’ll come alive.
I’ll be breathtaking.