Love Poem in an Apple Orchard
My friend and I go apple picking. I promise him
I won’t write a love poem about it. We pluck
apples and sneak bites as we stroll and enjoy
the cornsilk glow of late afternoon.
Suddenly apples begin plummeting from trees
and everyone is screaming and running,
but there is nowhere to hide.
We watch, aghast, as people are bludgeoned
by Braeburns, their apple-jam insides seeping out.
All I can think is this isn’t a love poem,
this isn’t a love poem, while the golden
delicious sun takes cover behind a cloud
as if God is baking an apple pie
and turning off the oven light.
I Look at Pictures of Birds When I’m Too Sad to Go Outside
I want to let you into this poem. I want us to breathe
the same air. Some days, everything makes me sad—
sitting down to put sneakers on, how late I came
to appreciate birds, glitter. Once, I gave young students
containers of glitter for an art project and for weeks
it was in my hair, my cereal. My sister laughed
and said never leave children unsupervised with glitter.
Some days, it feels like stars exist because a child
tossed up glitter and said night sky. I think I would’ve been
a good mother but then I remember the glitter incident,
or the time my nephew’s finger got stuck in a toy
and my own finger hurt for weeks. I watched a time-lapse video
of plants moving in a 24-hour period and it looked like
interpretive dance so I filled my home with philodendrons.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say here but I don’t want
to lose you so I’ll offer this image: I saw a photo of a tree
teeming with grandala birds, bright blurs of cobalt,
and I wonder how their nests would sparkle if there was glitter
among the twigs and leaves. I know my lungs will hurt
if I let myself think about this, but I do.