In Eden there were green apples
and slithering transparent snakes
and multi-colored Adams and Eves
when red apples shook in a rage
demanding to know why
had been chosen
to tempt man,
since the red felt themselves to be
inherently more desirable.
Then the green apples
spit seeds furiously
sputtered, “A red was shot
off of William Tell’s head,
and strewn by Johnny Appleseed.”
As Eve and other mothers know,
gently nodding sage heads,
one kid cuts the piece in half,
then the other one chooses first,
so in Eden and
on William Tell’s head, you’d have
an apple of green one time,
then red or black or white or gold or brown.
Eventually, a caterpillar would take a turn as snake
and Eve would tempt Adam with an eggplant casserole.
So a crazy kaleidoscope keeps turning,
with everybody yearning after greener grass,
until some somehow chosen representatives miraculously agree,
“Choose which one you’ll
be, as apple, for example, a red MacIntosh or
a greenish-pinkish Japanese Fuji.”
And if you choose velvet you can’t be washed, so choose velour.
And if you’d like to purr, choose to be a cat.