Catherine Palmer (Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland)

The Hearts on the Vines

The hearts on the vines smile, the white hearts
bloodless as albino babies.
     They pump nothing.

A man
                  (silent opening of spiracles,
                  membrane primed to snap)
finds a deep and heady music
between layers of lipid.
A man
            is masticated.

And the white hearts smile:
truncated sadness. They know
where the path leads, trees leaning in anticipation
and proteinaceous like silk.
      They bare flaxen teeth.

A woman's fingers
                  (swelling like amoebae under milk sheen,
                  skin of a tough and wizened greed)
encircle a molten core.
She listens rapturous; it beats for her alone.
A woman
      is consumed.

The hearts on the vines smile.
       They are cold.