fingers entwined in hers, i walk a dirt path
mapped out by years of footsteps before me.
i am blind to how far it extends, or where it takes us,
but the air is cool, and on my lips is the sweet taste,
faint, a ghost of a bite, but present,
of a berry.
to our left, there is a forest
marked by trees of evergreen, and lilies.
recognition rings in my head, and i know:
this forest is unforgiving; the branches want to pull me in
and embrace warmly my limbs
for all eternity.
to my right, there is a field
stretching on further than i could know.
i know the boundaries; i see the white fence,
but the strawberries, numerous as stars,
call out to me in their silent, glistening way
to go to them.
in my hand, there is hers,
attached to a girl of enigmatic adoration.
i see her chestnut hair, adore her spotted face,
and she smiles at me, so sweetly,
telling me silently a message of warmth
like the trees.
of her hand, i let go,
turning to the field of vast red at my right.
i hear her mumble in confusion, quietly,
but don't turn back; i jump the fence,
falling on my knees and picking a single berry
of a glossy red.
when i bite, it is sweet,
leaving on my lips a nectar, on my tongue divinity.
i have only a moment, however,
to consider the stronger forbidden euphoria,
before from behind me rings a shrill scream
of unadulterated horror.
from my hand, the berry drops,
and my gaze falls on her: mouth agape and eyes betrayed.
she places her hands over her ears, hysterical,
and louder and louder echoes her scream
as from me she stumbles dumbly away
with forest eyes primally fearful.
to quiet her, i extend a hand,
but the heavenly sweet on my tongue turns to coppery rust.
my mouth falls open, intuitively,
and from it pours a deep, dire red,
collecting again in a bloody puddle
at my feet.
up to her, i look back,
for her shriek still rings loud.
but i am met only with unfamiliarity, worst:
in her place lies a corpse, decayed,
between her ribs tangled strawberry vines and at her core a heart gushing blood
of a berry.
behind me, the field remains,
but time and flies have given rise to its ruin.
the leaves of eden have wilted, rotten,
and from the berries emanates an odor
beyond that of natural spoil; it is that
in my core, there is a hunger,
stabbing at my gut and corrupting my entrails.
my tongue makes a swipe across my lips, swiftly,
as before her i take place on hands and knees
and i reach between the vines and take a bite
of her heart.
Author Notes: :3c