POETRY

Apples

By

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.

Cyril Wong (1977) is the author of nine collections of poetry in Singapore. Internationally, his poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Fulcrum, Cider Press Review and Asheville Poetry Review. He received the Singapore Literature Prize in his country and has been a featured poet at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Hong Kong International Literary Festival; and is the founder of SOFTBLOW, an online international poetry journal.His Still Flight (2005) was first staged as a one-woman monologue in English.

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;…