The tree bore the efflorescence of October apples
like the bush that burned with fire and was not consumed.
The wind blew in cold sweet gusts,
and the burning taste of fresh snow came with the gradual dark
down through the goldenrod. The blue and scarlet sky
was gently losing its color,
as if from use.
The towers and telephone poles rose in the distance.
And a decline
of spirit, hearing, all senses; where the mind no longer rests,
dwells, intrigue; and Satan’s quick perspective of what lies
was foretold by the springing back of a bough.
— We’ll never know the all of it: nature’s manifesto,
the sleight-of-hand in God’s light, the invisible,
visible, sinned against, absolved, no matter the enormity
of trying, and Eve’s help.
But come just before sunrise and see and taste again
the apple tree coming into fire
— shadow-glyphs on the crystallized grasses,
geese surging above the loblolly pine, the smell of sap —
as if willingly through its long life
it held on to one unclarified passion and grew and regretted