The apple lies in your hand, round and sweet. It is all
the forbidden fruit that you have ever tasted: The loves,
the pleasures, the stolen joys. There is no hiding from
the one who walks in the garden in the cool of the evening.
There is no offering you can make to your god, your
country, to atone for what you are.
The apple lies in your hand, the bitter apple of
self-knowledge. In another time, another place,
it might be the apple of Iduna, whose fruit gives
life to the gods. It might be an apple from
the Hesperides, the gift of Hera to Zeus, or
that apple which Eris tossed, designated for
the fairest. You have known your fairest and
lost him. You have lost all the immortality
in your veins. It might be the apple that was
given to True Thomas, or was that bread
and wine? He lay with the Faerie Queen and
gained the gift of prophecy. You have taken
the fruit unbidden and it will give you only death.
The apple lies in your hand, heavy as all your
memories. With a last gesture of defiance,
you put it to your teeth and bite.
(For Alan Turing, computer scientist, homosexual, who died on this day in 1954, possibly of suicide. His codebreaking skills helped the Allies win World War II; after the war, he was arrested and chemically castrated for being a homosexual. Written in 2015.)