Our apples are golden from your side of the orchard,
but here they are simply red like blood.
We pick what grows and move to make our bread.
When that bread turns beautifully to gold in our mouths,
we know it was only because of a prayer.
What can we rush along, dearest,
not the opening of a leaf, or eyes, or heart.
What of a friend, what of an enemy;
what of someone who is just like us?
What kind of strong will can we rush to bend into an embrace,
the strongest sign of an acceptance of the soul of the other?
It has been a long time since we pained, dearest,
since the fruit we picked so lovingly
turned to sour nothingness in our mouth.
It has been a long time since we rushed around
banging our heads on the walls,
opening books to pages we understand for comfort.
It has been a long time since we withdrew into our own,
since the trickling of ego was felt through the holes
of our pretty heart-basket.
They ask to know who we are right now,
to know what we would tell them, to check for hypocrisy —
to see if we feel any pain.
But we do not recall anything that has happened to us,
nothing that truly affected our minds.
Another grayness dawns, clear and cold.
If there was pain, we learned how to talk to it
long ago, as children. If there was joy
we sent it off to come again.
Won’t they understand that we are nothing right now,
that there is nothing material left to share?
We only wither and unfurl quietly as per our season,
and we are one and no one all again.
This piece is a reflection on our relationships with other people. How do we understand ourselves, and how much common humanity do we truly perceive in others, in “them”? What do we use to define ourselves, and what of those definitions do we use to relate to others? How do others view our blessings and “misfortunes” in relation to their own?