I believe I have awakened again with the spin of liminal fever shedding sweat into bedsheets—an endless taxonomical investigation of what makes me human, and what comprises consciousness. I couldn’t be sure that it was me who believes he has awakened, or the inverse of me, careening in from the future to adopt this body, and listen to its heart, and listen to its mind. A remembrance of having been here before, of having explored the answers to long-shelved questions of identity. Of having found that inside the apple there were but seeds. And I must either scatter them, tend them, nourish them and wait half a lifetime to pick another, or swallow it to the stem and banish myself to the wilds. For once there, knowledge comes quickly, or it cedes to death. In gulping for air and gulping for fruit I am nothing if not famished. Barren of substance, mercifully weightless to the point where the earth, to its magmatic core, cannot hold this spirit any longer. And I shall inhabit the memory of an apple once eaten. And vanished. Or transformed so brutally and altogether that no remnant of its nature is retained.
And haunt. Ghosting from birch to beech, wafting along the ragged lisp of chemical alarums, I see now what I was missing. The whole organic network of floral communication that speaks to the wrens and beckons the bees who magnetically pilfer screaming nectar so obsessively they fail to acknowledge the clinging reach of pollen decorating their spindly barbs of limbs. Whisk back to the hive, aloft on the wind, who, while she calumniates flight as avaricious guardian of her wingless domain, surreptitiously dusts and separates these beaded spores and wends them gently back to fertile earth. The clouds weep a deluge of loss, unaware their grief alone now will spur resurrection. But when the flower awakes, will she remember who she was? Can she have forgotten the journey that delivered her, the debt owed to the magnanimous authorial narrative writ by happenstance, and cured in inevitability? Will she look upon the future of herself by revealing her past, the past that dreamt of luring curt and bustling insects to spend a reposed moment in the cushion of her petals? I cannot question why she cannot question her own inclinations and motivations, belching new blossoms with each stroke of the sun. But ripe, yellow and fulsome her peacock display, unveiled and unanonymous to the nearby forest—a taunting to the tiller, a haunting to the villain, the crush of tiny sneakered steps and a child’s tear at the chest of the stem, cleaving heart from heath, heather from tether, art-weaver and killer, a blonde musket ball of a child. Jimothy Ribbons, bulked in diaper and trainers and nothing more. With a fist clotted with viscous snot, he brashly snatches a bouquet and greets it nose-first, sniffling in the horrified screams of agony which smell to him of sugary grape soda along with the teasing dribble of salted mucous oozing like caramel to his lips.
He pauses thus a moment. Remembers a tiny plastic barrel of corn-syruped purply elixir found abandoned and almost empty in an autumn leaf pile verging a curb. Remembers mommy, and stands up defiantly, pissing himself a little and callously crumbling the petals in his pudgy hand, feeling them compress into tiny beads which he watches fall life-crested to the earth. And runs away.