strawberry tree

in october i ate handfuls of leaves
to get my reccomended dose of orange.
wall-papered my bathtub with paisley moons.
the strawberries i found hovering
just above the ground & tasted 
like ghosts of themselves. with a tweezers
i removed their freckle seeds
& planted them between the floorboards.
briefly a vampire, i drank the blood
of willing animals: a neighbor 
in his fishing hat & a tired dog 
who just wanted to sleep. waited for
the seeds to flourish. i heard them hum
all night long like little bells.
the year's end was looking more 
& more red by the day. i could see it
from the window at the end of the street
where no one lived. just a blare
of real righteous red. i could have
gone to church once or twice but
by the time i thought of it
my soul was already occupied 
with knitting egg-cozies. the leaves
browned & wept. finally, one day,
i woke up to a strawberry tree
complete with feathered tongue. 
it tinkled with its metal arms & 
the fruit crawled down from its branches
on hands & knees. plump little strawberries 
wrong in their season. i told them 
they could be my wonderful secret
but we had to hush because there were
angels on patrol. angels enforce 
what can grow in what season & 
if they heard my strawberries 
i'd be forced to give them up. 
we danced like girls & i swallowed 
until my whole face was pink-red.
balancing your color wheel in the cold months
is nearly impossible, so why try?
everything worthwhile is red.
red lips. red blood. red berries
humming contently. swarm of my heart.
in the morning the berry tree
wilted & died. i burried its bones
in the yard. october swept 
the porch with her hair,
taking the strawberry leaves 
& a few of my fallen freckles.
nothing could have prepared me 
for winter. 

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