Corrupt Tree

Purple-hand push-ups on a single-digit morning.
Behind crystal-glass doors, confined in cistern sockets,
Two eyes as blue as sky withdrawn from a dawn as red as apples
Before the weather turns and fruit turns rotten
And hangs without color on trees without shame.

The air in this room is cold and somehow stale
Like freezer-burnt butter bread. To breathe here
Elicits only sighs and bitter prayers
From a man who kneels to Time for time alone.
He is alone. It is not good.
His prayer, answered again, brings him no peace.

Hanging apples do not suffer from dread.
Their swallowed fate in the sweaty hands of a sweet-toothed people
Prone to overindulgence, negligence and mass genocide
Never gives them pause or cause for concern.
If eaten, an apple might give momentary pleasure.
If uneaten, the fruit will lose its sweetness and rot
And never taste its own death in the long age before it falls.

Winter has no power to freeze the soul.
Man chooses to rot or sweeten, to numb or feel.
Of the many ways to say it, the simplest is best:
The man chose the corrupt tree, and now hangs
On the far edge of the bare branch like a dead fruit.

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