—after Edvard Munch’s painting, Girls Picking Apples, from the collection of Scofield Thayer
Innocence, you are but deceit twined in green
a shackle of softness in a girl’s thigh and chin
an obsession with a torrid itch
purity, you twist the empty tongue.
As ever, pleasure is a lie that defies your definition:
hunger kneels plainly before the blossom
ripens with lipless lust, desires the waxing bloom.
Above, the wild sky swirls its azure threads
its empty net casting for ruin. As ever,
the ocean lifts its stormy myths, it swells
with its legends, it lists with forgotten men.