The mortal fruit upon the bough Hands above the nuptial bed. The cat-bird in the tree returns The forfeit of his mutual vow. The hard, untimely apple of The branch that feeds on watered rain, Takes the place upon her lips Of her late lamented love. Many hands together press, Shaped within a static prayer Recall to one the chorister Docile in his sexless dress. The temperate winds reclaim the iced Remorseless vapours of the snow. The only pattern in the mind Is the cross behind the Christ.
— “First Communion,’’ by Djuna Barnes