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February 3, 2022

Apple Stickers

Grant Young

they say the stickers on my
apples are edible
but why would i eat the
sticker on my apple?
on my succulent voluptuous
glossy honeycrisp apple
that cost me $1.69
did they not consider that
if i’m willing to pay a premium
for my apples
i’ll be happy to add 4 seconds
between the moment i wet
my apple under the sink and when it
enters my mouth
in order to
separate stickers from my apples?

maybe they know
something i don’t
maybe eating apple stickers adds
some savory aspects
maybe the taste of plastic adds
a touch of elegance and
enhances my apple’s aura
maybe that punch of
plastic is exactly why my
apple cost me $1.69

but what if said sticker is hiding something?
perhaps a bruise
or a wormhole
or even a living worm whose
passage out of my apple was
blockaded by the sticker
and has now decided
to set up shop
in my honeycrisp apple
in which case a bite
through the sticker will
result in me eating
a) the sticker
b) a bite of honeycrisp apple
c) the head/butt of a living worm
is that a risk worth taking?
would that make the flavor
palette of my apple
a tad too elegant?

or what if the
wormhole holds no worm
but instead whirls me
through spacetime to
a world where worms
worry about unearthing a
human head/butt
when biting into
their honeycrisp apples
isn’t that how wormholes work?
if such a
situation unfolded
would the worm
write about that
worry as well?
in this wonky world i
wound up at
would worms have
words to write with?

maybe the person who
slaps stickers on my apples
must slap them atop their
most evident flaws?
and they only get paid if they’re
providing immaculate apples?
because their
apple sticker surveilers
are real sticklers for stickers
so when apple slappers
encounter an apple
with a live worm inside
they must blockade the live worm
with an apt sticker slap

could i forgive such an act?

must i unearth where
my apples are plucked and
expose apple sticker surveilers for
being such sticklers?
can i procure fair pay for
struggling sticker slappers with an
apple slapper strike?

but what if my
apple slapping activism
backfires and is
admonished for a
lack of comprehending the
complex economics of
sticker slapping?
it seems i must
dismiss myself from
the entire apple equation

but out of spite
i still would like
to settle the score
against sticker surveilers
so i resolve to eat my
honeycrisp apple
sticker and all
even seeds and stem too

so i wet my apple and
it enters my mouth
sticker side up and
a crisp apple
but what do i find?
no worm head/but
the sticker tastes like
so i spit
out my apple bite
back in the sink
and think about
how i now must
swallow my pride and
extract all slapped stickers
from all of my apples

since i can’t afford not to have
my $1.69 apples.