The Apples

The apples wait in a bowl, so pick one; the apples tug at the hem of my hunger—the love of apples; they appear in a poem about a bowl of apples; they are as serene as monks; apples cannot know the colour of the bowl they are in; apples in a poem are not edible; neither is the bowl; the apples fight for my attention; in fact, this happens very slowly; the apples revel in their nudity and know nothing about sin; they genuinely believe they are the original fruit; the apples sometimes wish they were more than themselves; they have heard of apples larger than themselves; apples deny any relationship to pears; the apples wonder if it is true, that green apples exist; the apples riot in the dark, but cannot win; still, they try; the apples provide a reminder that time is never still; the apples fear what awaits them after they have been eaten; these apples would like to be reborn with legs; the apples are too restless to meditate; the apples were communist, but soon they converted to capitalism; they knock each other off the top of the bowl—the politics of apples; the apples curse quietly when one of them is chosen; and dream of orchards, the generosity of rain and sunlight; they remember suspension, gravity, then falling— ...apples mourn when none of them is chosen; the apples concede to my teeth, filling my mouth with their insides; unlike us, preferring time to hurry; the apples at the bottom admire those apples at the top; the apples wait to steal your life and turn it into an apple; unable to think beyond the bowl’s bright rim, the open window; the apples are still waiting.

by Cyril Wong
from Straw, Sticks, Brick (2012)


SELECTED POEMS: an excerpt from "The Dictator's Eyebrow" >