Something simple like an apple
can make me cry if it is very small and fallen
like the apples in our yard
with their chalky taste, lying
in dented grass. It’s been so long
since I’ve seen something that pure,
just the size of the lump in my throat
when I posed for you
in my undershirt, feeling bad,
wormy. I was too old,
the green wooden lawn chair
all angles and planes, my body sprawled.
I was too old to be
among the wormy apples
fallen all around me.
Little green stems, a thin-skinned red.
Inside, the white pulp
of rebellion, thickened and coursening.
I would never have thought of telling you
no, it was something you wanted
that had me in it.
The blades of the mower went back
and forth in the grass, slicing the apples,
tossing them into the air.
No no, you told me, Pick up the apples
first, put them all in a basket. I preferred it
the other way, slicing their skin open