Cherries in Winter

by Sonya Taaffe

I'll take the photograph if you can make me
taste cherries in winter. You in this taxi
and the lemon trees whitening beside the road,
the dust skims off with the heat and the camera
shutters all time into stutters and blinks -- you
under a red-tiled roof and a whitewashed sill
with glasses of retsina, with sunburned shoulders,
the rot of weed and lobster pots dragged up
onto a street corner, you in a grove of olives,
their silvery leaves in dapples on your hair.
With the sound of coin, a beggar once paid
an uncharitable cook for the smell of a meal.
You in the back seat, piled in with suitcases,
in a linen jacket and the window cranked down,
the breeze tastes like the distant tinder of the hills.
Take this moment home and when the wind
breathes stonily cold and rain, I want to know
the sweet of fresh cherries, while you turn
another page of intangibles, lost in time.

Sonya Taaffe has a confirmed addiction to myth, folklore, and dead languages. Poems and short stories of hers have been shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award, honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and reprinted in The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, The Best of Not One of Us, Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2006, and Best New Fantasy; a respectable amount of her work can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). Her livejournal is Myth Happens.

The mask that would choose her needs its story to be told.

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