Poem: The Woman You Love Cuts Apples For You


I first wrote this poem years ago, I never thought a person could dip apples in sea salt and vinegar. And years later, I swear, a woman would teach me how tajin turns a green apple into something gorgeous. We were standing outside the Arizona prison and I didn’t believe there was anything to discover in the prison parking lot. Rereading Rosal’s poem made me pull out some tajin and cut some apples and remember how poems create a heart’s history and remind us of home. Chosen by Reginald Dwayne Betts

The Woman You Love Cuts Apples For You

by Patrick Rosal

and mixes them with sea salt and vinegar
Taking a breather from your Silk Cut

from the flesh of the fruit becomes easy again
the blade stands near the thumb

you’re both sweating on your shoulder
(East Ham’s hottest summer) And because

There’s this woman who slices apples
stirring in vinegar that reminds you

one afternoon twenty-five years ago
you knelt beside your mother with your brothers

feet for plucking apple slices from a small bowl
stuck between her legs and one of you

he would lift the bowl – almost completely empty
except for a sour cloudy liquid

and a few seeds changing at the bottom
You taste it at first but then you give it away

from brother to brother who swallowed their lungs
Till your lips turn white from that tart cider

and numb you don’t dare tell anyone what you learned
liking the taste of something so strange

woman cuts apples for you in vinegar
and familiar fumes fill your nostrils and throat

He will lift the bowl to drink He will bend his face
and when you propose you will laugh and drink

and he will drink and you will drink again
He’ll kiss your slit knuckle, he’ll kiss your eyes

Of course it circulates
Hottest summer ever in London

And you and the woman you love fall asleep side by side
like this – smelly and unwashed – breathing

each other’s fair skin dreams

Reginald Dwayne Bett He is a poet and lawyer. He created the Million Books Project, an initiative to curate micro-libraries and place them in prisons across the country. His latest poetry collection “Felon” explores the post-incarceration experience. In 2019, she won a National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism for her article in The Times Magazine describing her journey from teen auto theft to attorney nomination. Patrick Rosal is an author and a former Guggenheim friend whose work includes “My American Kundiman” (Persea Books, 2006). He adapted this poem from a longer version that appears in “The Last Thing” (Persea Books, 2021). He teaches at Rutgers University-Canden.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *