Apple Spice Helix

It’s Sunday, September:
after storms, a high-contrast day
so bright I can see the future
glowing like the variegated orbs of apples
in this barn, each in its wooden bowl
awaiting transmutation
into tastes of permanence.
The cider press extracts elixirs
and ferments liquors while donuts fry,
pies bake, sauces simmer.

The hurricanes passed. You were here with me,
like you’ve been through them all
under the waves as my towns submerged,
one by one. You were here, roots planted
in the undertow, leaves reaching upward,
dancing in the light like drowning was nothing,
and I held on.

You’re still here, and I know the tide is changing.
I smell it in the scents of death and cloves:
a new year, golden around the edges,
waiting for us to step into it. I see all timelines at once
and know there is no drowning:
only this dance with waves that engulf us and pass,
leaving us there—a statue of driftwood,
like what you always said you were.

I hold on. In the sheen on their skins,
red and green like the stop and go rhythms
of fear and hope, loss and regrowth,
I scry a new path.
I see us growing old together,
and it’s nothing like what I expected.
It’s not these apples on the tree,
bracing for storms and winters.
It’s not the relief of just desserts,
that day we finally can inhabit something,
the waiting for sweetness.

It’s us, as we always were and will be,
a statue of permanence that sometimes appears
on solid land, and sometimes holds hands
when the world ends.
It’s you with friends, falling in love again,
exploring oceans—and me, in my castle
with my vials and colored glass, distilling dreams.

Does the future really matter?
Becoming and being—all the same.
It’s these roots and tides that were always there,
and always will be—
and you, and me
holding on, just being what we are:
winding closer
the more we set each other free.

© Psyche Marks 2019

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