Apple, you say, and I am at the / base of a / cherry tree, barefoot, in / Door County, an orchard, its greens. I am at the counter- / edge of my kitchen, tan the color of cut apple, of lunchbox leftover, / fingers of one hand / guide a milk carton to pour, while I read Natalie Diaz, watch / her watch the apple. Apple, you say, and / I feel into the produce drawer for a green one, hand on the silver fridge handle, / judge each for softness with a squeeze. I rinse, I / knife around the sticker, I baggie. I email apple to my ex who has the children. Subject / Line: School Notes – Lunch Ideas. Apple, you say, and I / might see it. Apple butter day in kindergarten. Cut / neat, four cuts, the way my dad did. / Or cored of its calyx with the corer in the corner drawer. Then it flickers, it slips. My mind’s eye is the Kodak carousel slide / projector in the closet at the top of the oakwood stairs. My mind’s eye is sock feet, / quiet. A diorama, like a solar system built to scale. Wordless orbs / redraw themselves as apples. On a / scale of 1 to 5, how well do you remember the Rorschach test I / took when I was sixteen? How it illuminated an / underbelly, surfaced a shadow self, / vexed my mother / who wanted nothing for me but / ‘xactly what I couldn’t be: affectionate. Apple-Betty warm. I am three, it’s the middle of the night, the cardboard is / yawning empty on the toilet paper arm. Running down the rented hallway with my urgent yatter. My parents in their bed raise their heads, / zip their faces, say: / Angela, never wake us up again. Apple in my throat. Apple / bloom of shame across my / cheeks.