In a graveyard, Pluto issues out its banner
Stark with god’s red cross telling me what I already know.

From now on, debts and love now have measure.
A hard candy for every time I punched my brother.

A soured apple for every missed dinner at my mother’s table.
A ray of night cuts through the light and I am alone again

in a bed ever shrinking to the size I allow myself.
I eat the apples and pucker further into my bound shape.

I crack the hard candies that glue themselves to my crowns;
A bitter nourishment weighs in my belly

While everything I have done now curdles:
the price of action. All my solace unravels as a feast.

Copyright © 2021 by Dan Lau. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 3, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.