Gnawing on pink ladies,

we swallow the seed

that enters this world

with all it requires

Dispersal     If not by wind

Then water or beak

One hooked barb

caught on the nape

of my neck    I called to you

to pull it out     In the shower

clawing at my body

Panicked at the thought

of a tick burrowing

in my skin     Its head

embedded like a follicle

You washed my hair

and discovered in the suds

A tightly coiled burr

Or wooden spring

Maybe it was a seed

It found us eating apples

under the trees     Washing

our feet in the water

Cloudy with silt

Less a mirror    Merely

A dried-out tendril

Carrying nothing

but the memory

of its reaching