Apples and Mistakes

There’s a rough pear in one palm, and in the other, the apple is smoother. Both green, I can tell them apart, eyes closed, by shape, or the scent of them when held to nose. Even sliced, peeled, I do not mistake the flesh of the one for the other, even though they are both fruit, even though they are both colored the same. But for the moment I can’t tell you which one I’d rather eat, or rather, which of the two, when on my tongue, might taste instead like mistake, if one might be too much sweetness, the other, today, just a little too tart.

Because I have been, before, taken in by the words, honeyed, of a man marveling at my own skin, the one who said he liked, when I kissed him, the way my hair fell around him like a curtain for our faces, who ran one finger along a brow and commented on its perfect shape, who put his thumb in the dip near the hipbone because it fit there, because he fit there, and I will slice myself open for him, heart like that pear on plate, and it will be a mistake I’ve already made, and make again, thinking I am meant somehow, for the sweet.

There’s a rough pear in one palm, and in the other, the apple is smoother, and today I put one back, untouched. Because I have always liked limes in my cocktails, the bright zing of lemon, salt in my chocolate, and the bite of bitter through my booze. I like the tart edge of truth on my tongue, prefer it too on a man’s, not the mistake of the lies I let people tell me, or the ones I tell myself, like how one morning, bright sunlight filling a room, when a man asked me how, that early, I could look so good, I tell him only that it is how I always look, not that it’s because he makes me happy.

Not too, how, because of this, when another man says goodbye one night on my patio, I will think only of apples when I kiss him, never ask him to stay.

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