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How Quickly Can the Soul Leave the Body Before We Say Bless

ISSUE:  Spring 2021


Apples belong to the genus Malus. I stand with my hips pressing into the sink’s marble,
rinsing and twisting these sandy, gunmetal stems out of the fat fruit 

with the alphabet’s dim reflection chanting behind my eyes. I’ve grown tall on goodness 
and kindness. The crimson apple tree grows larger if grown from seed. In the Norse 

burial ship, a whole bucket of apples. Still, I let these taut stems tell me whom I’ll marry.
Even now, with my husband asleep, his thigh outside the plush, red blanket. Even now, 

with my son on his rug, placing one green block inside of a bigger blue block, and the 
pink hibiscus open and the passionflower with its stamen stretched up like a ballerina 

and its petals shrugged down and the lemon-striped wasp hunting through the thyme. 
A, she ate blueberries from my thighs, B, who carried me up those wooden stairs, D, 
death, demise, but 

don’t worry. When those tight, brown stems 

offer up to me some letters of past lovers, I take the apple’s body and slice it into nine 
pieces, carve the skin from their crisp flesh and boil up their goodness till it’s soft. I 

the stems, I’ll swallow the seeds. This golden ship is mine.



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