Mulberry Boy

by Caitlin Ross

mulberry boy,
it was a balmy summer day when
i first saw you
i was walking on the
warm pavement
when you
greeted me
dangling, swaying
from the bowed branch of
your tree.

your branch was just
in my reach,
you looked plump
and juicy and sweet
your deep, lustrous exterior
your mellow, purple scent
enticing me
to take
a bite.

you were just as
sweet as i imagined
succulent and full
of life.
a refreshing bite
in the midst of summer heat
and i didn’t mind
at all
that your juice stained
my lips a little.

the next day
on my same path
i saw you once again
just as sweet
and purple
and luscious
and appealing as before
and i partook in you again
and i still
didn’t mind that
you stained
my fingertips.

day in, day
i came to see you once again
you still stayed sweet
so i kept coming
back for more
and you were
always there
always plump
and juicy
and just within
my reach.

summer drew on
and as did we
as the sun grew brighter
in the sky
you began to feel
its heat
and you began to
shrivel up
to turn sour
to rot.

but i kept coming back
for i missed your taste
and perhaps
i thought
you would still be sweet
if i
pretended you were
and every day
you stained me
a little more
and every stain
was a little
less satisfying.

one day, i
came to see you
and you
weren’t there
i searched for you,
but i came back empty handed.
your sweetness had been
transformed to bitterness
to rot
to nothing
you were gone.

for many days
after, i kept
coming back
hoping that by
some miracle, you
would bloom for me
one last time.
alas, i searched in vain.
you were gone.

and me,
i was left
with purple fingers
and burgundy lips
and no more sweetness
i was only
left with your
i was
only left
with your

The Poor Print

The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford, with contributions from members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff. New issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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