"I love you, rotten, delicious rottenness"-- Medlars and Sorb-Apples, by DH Lawrence

"I find myself entertaining the thought of others in pain
and enjoying the notion.

"There are several
whom I would secretly wish to slap
and see what kind of virtues
such a birthmark would invoke.

"Tiny hand, tiny hand,
small and immaculate and red:
what beastly delights
would unfold in your palm?

"A reproach:
in a glance or gaze, not as scathing
as your mark upon my cheek."
A finger-box, a glass of wine:

"Ah, malicious ambrosia!
You stir with one finger
because one is really

You bring fruit to your mouth as
if to emulate a heart; (I want to be that fruit,
caught in your teeth)
but you continue:

"Let us consider a rose—
No. A peach.
They are twice as sensuous
and more neglected.

"Do you know what they say about peaches?

"'I love you, rotten,
Delicious rottenness'."
Something that speaks sorely of pleasure. . . .

"But you don't want to talk about pleasure.
Let us talk, instead, about pain."
And words are tools to you, voluble,
skins of fruits
whose chyme is drunken by gods.

You smile. No.
"Words are paper, friend:
they kiss with human lips
seduce with human tongues;

"Their hearts, though,
are stuck with ballpoint pens;
they aren't to be trusted
but they are in as much pain
as the rest of us."

And you ask:
"Where did the malice go?
I shall tell you:

"It is curled,
dead in an armchair,
happy to be feasted on by
worms of contempt.

"It's useless, but refreshing
to trade in eyes for obsidian,
to gaze on and be marked by
that hand on my cheek."