One day, when she's old,
she'll tell you the answer to the riddle
that has been tormenting you for years.
I have heard this one before; the words
curve like a spider's silky web, they
put on the shelf in the wine cellar
before being released to the public
If poems beat on the back door,
would you think to answer it?
Would you know, quickly now,
how to explain the ending to every
Metaphors drop out of the sky like
they land on your doorstep,
shaking and shivering in the cold.
Will you take them in?
They are orphans, you know;
they have nowhere else to go.
My eyelids close in misery,
but where has your innocence gone?
I'd like to ignore the pounding
of raindrops on the roof,
which has been reborn into something
far less conclusive than reality.
We rush in without wonder, and witness
another miracle of self. It brushes away
the wounds of yesterday; I hear the
empty shell cracking.
Break out of your shell,
reveal the yellow bareness
of beauty; there is only
one chance left, and then it's gone,
drifting into the
blackness that was once sleep.
There is no shred of doubt.
The flower is wrinkled
like the flesh of my old mother
her eyes blinking fiercely
against the bright light
the flower is beautiful
as it hunches in its crystal vase,
the petals fall
lazily to the countertop.
Apryl Fox is 23 years old. She has
been published previously in Tryst, The
Southern Ocean Review, Surprising
Stories, and Strange Horizons, with an
upcoming publication in Verse Libre
Quarterly. She is an Assistant Poetry
Editor of "The Rose and Thorn" Ezine (