in the stairwell, the apples trees
took their vows. snaked up banister
& rooted on every stair. all august 
they'd bloomed trailing their petals
throughout our apartment building. 
i'd come alone to tell them about you
saying, "i'm in love" over & over.
with them it didn't feel like obsession.
the trees wanted to hear everything.
as i spoke the apples swelled
to the size of my hands. 
one apple, ripe & blushing, fell 
into my lap each time i joined them.
as a boy, when i used to work at the orchards
the trees were much more reserved. 
stood in their rows & bore fruit like helmets. 
here, the trees laughed & flourished. 
sometimes it is a delight to be 
where you do not belong. invited 
song birds to sit & sew table clothes.
when i love someone everything becomes
fruit. plums in the hall closet.
strawberries in the cutlery drawer.
i filled baskets with the apples 
& delivered them to neighbors.
made sauce & butter. my bones 
smelled sweet & red. then, i'd crawl
into bed next to you. smell the soft branches
of your hair. you'd ask me 
what i'd been up to & i would always lie.
these were my private orchards & fields.
there is something strangely personal
about love. i always saved the seeds. 
brass key to my apartment. 
more apples than i could ever eat. 

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