She wasn’t scared when I inquired about the state of her apples,
red and suspicious instead of delicious,
looking as though they’d been painted to look like mimes,
then wiped clean by a lazy person who may have mumbled,
“oil based” and “impossible,”
my go-to words for laundry and for art.
She said, “I soaked them in vinegar,
heard ten minutes does the trick.
So I soaked them all night.”
The wax gave up and fell,
dried back in new formations.
I swore I could see Dali’s clock on one,
sheet music on another,
a coffee mermaid,
math and eggs,
little apples on the apples.
“Peel them!” I said and then waxed on
about big cancer counts in Washington,
how the peel’s the worst part.
I talked dirty dozens and pesticide hauntings,
“But the fiber!”
Another friend made a shoe shine motion on her thigh,
said she doesn’t wash them, just brushes them off knowingly—
like a Disney stepmother who’s already put poison inside.
“We just grab them off the counter.”
My mind limped back through all their kitchens,
IKEA bowls and see-through drawers.
Fear drove my worry to Washington and back,
mulling over seeds and stems, cores and flesh—
so many stovetop ciders—
the cold kind of fear that’ll find me faster than
any apple cancer can.
This poem was written as part of a poem-a-day challenge for National Poetry Month! Write your own and tag #npm15. And leave comments in response! I’d love to hear from you.
The poems that appear as part of this challenge are dirty drafts; they may change with each visit to the site. See you tomorrow!
Deidre, poet in progressby