not inherit it from an old orchard, someone else’s labor,
not buy it at the supermarket from a pyramid constructed of bodies.
Your sweat must enter the soil of the garden to rise in the apple
for tasting, salt and iron brought to a better creation in sweet flesh
arranged into a star pattern around a core that some eat,
most don’t. Some don’t even eat the skin, tough with wax
and pesticides that won’t wash off without concentration.
Good for loose teeth, the old counsel, or else they’ll tie a string
to the culprit and a doorknob. Just one slam shut, they promise.
An apple looks good instead. It nestles in the hollow of your hand,
gem in its setting. You eat close to the core to avoid being called
wasteful, biting in circles. The tooth does seem looser. You watch
the garden create your father from dust and your mother from his side
as it rises and falls in dreaming. You only bother them when hungry.