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.