The new one sits wet and heavy in my hand—
 the tongue of a dog drooping on a hot day.
 I turn it over to inspect the back,
 look for black spots in the crevices—
 a basket of apples I pour onto the grass.
 I don’t trust them to be fresh:

 All I know are the things people have told me.
 So I let my eyes linger on the darkening growths,
 dig my fingers into the mush until
 a sweetness lingers on my hand for days—
 honey rust in iron gelatin,
 a dying organ smells like fruit.

 Soon, the apples will turn
 to slush beneath the tree,
 And a stray will stop its circling, drop its dead
 bird on the winter grass, come to lap
 up the sweet fermentation,
 and grow drunk on my doubts.
 I haven't trained it not to.

 I take the liver and slide it thin
 between two coverslips before
 easing it under the microscope.
 It is red and shiny and in the light,
 I can see veins running under its surface,
 circulating in blue—this pulsing, red tongue.

 If I press my eye into the ocular lens,
 let the yellow light flood into my cornea,
 squinting in the half-sight,
 I see the soft bloom of scar tissue and
 stand there crookedly until I am sure
 there is nothing healthy left.

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end rhyme adversary

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