In a dream, we flew. Our fingerswere out like needles, and we
drifted up as we looked at them.Weeks ago, we stood in an apple
orchard and condemned that city from
which we couldn’t afford to leave,
I climbed in my nice shoes and thewet bark scraped and marked my
pants and purple sweater. As you smiledbig up at me, I tossed the apples down
and you caught them, smiling and wincing,the tiny marks around your eyes disappearing
under the fat, green apples that padded the ground
like cork hitting a plaster wall. You asked me:
what if I had to take a bite from every apple in
You chewed an apple loudly.The orchard went until
the forest abruptly stopped it, and the hills
of New York went off until they were smoky
and gone. All those trees had all the apples.
We came across rows of peppers growing
and, looking down at them, I pointed spikyand told you what kinds of peppers they were.
The rows led right up to the apples on the ground
and in the trees, and you smiled and walked,
and I hated that I had to pay for all this.
The air had just the right bite to it.
I can’t even imagine those apples,emergency red and green as the outskirts of a bruise,
the orchard itself: the number, the amount, is imaginative and lofty.None of us can even imagine how deep we’re in
Russell Jaffe, Iowa, USA