Wednesday, 6 October 2010

October ‘08 by Russell Jaffe

In a dream, we flew. Our fingers
were 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 the
wet bark scraped and marked my

pants and purple sweater. As you smiled
big 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
the orchard?

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 spiky
and 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


Crafty Green Poet said...

Russell Jaffe teaches English at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA and holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia College in Chicago. His poems have appeared in Shampoo, MiPOesias, The Portland Review, Spooky Boyfriend, Writer’s Bloc, and others. Additionally, he writes a hot sauce review blog called Good Hurts and an emerging poetry journal called O Sweet Flowery Roses.

The Aiken ite said...

Great poem for Autumn.

Anonymous said...


fezzi. said...

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Angel Zapata said...

Wonderful use of color to enhance the language.