The Red Book of Plums

by Daniel Lusk

It’s a diary you encounter
with your eyes
and read
with your tongue.

When it was green of after-rain,
and fastened by a secret clasp

you knew, even
before you could spell
disguise, its closure
was a small hoax.

Ripe now, the swollen seam
is a mere white lie, an almost.
Almost open,
almost firmly closed.

Nostrils swelling,
you will incline to offer
your teeth.
This will require more
than parting your lips.

Study its swells.
Don’t they seem
an invitation?

To be circumspect
or bellicose?
This is not bread.

With your mouth wide
there will be no stopping
what floods your incisors,

washes the delicate, milk-seeking
nerves that decode all perfumes.

You will remember,
across all your forgetting, this
— all down your breast
and belly, your own firm skin.