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A Poem about White Apples

white apples, first apples of summer,

with skin as delicate as a baby’s,

crispy like white winter snow.

your smell won’t let me sleep,

this is how dead men

haunt their murderers’ dreams.

white apples,

this is how every july the earth

gets heavier under your weight.

and here only garbage smells like garbage…

and here only tears taste like salt…

we were picking them

like shells in green ocean gardens,

having just turned away from mothers’ breasts

we were learning

to get to the core of everything with our teeth.

so why are our teeth like cotton wool now…

white apples,

in black waters, the fishermen,

nursed by you, are drowning.

from Factory of TearsFind it in the library

Copyright © 2008 Valzhyna Mort (Trans. Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Franz Wright)
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Valzhyna Mort

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