No. 9


Cyril Wong  

The Apples

The apples wait in a bowl. Pick one. 
The apples tug at the hem of my hunger – the love of apples.
The apples appear in a poem about a bowl of apples.
The apples are as serene as monks.
The apples cannot know the colour of the bowl they are in.
The apples in the 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.
The apples genuinely believe they are the original fruit.
The apples sometimes wish they were more than themselves.
The apples have heard of apples larger than themselves.
The apples deny any relationship to pears. 
The apples wonder if it is true, that green apples exist.
The apples riot in the dark, but they cannot win. Still, they try.
The apples are a reminder that time is never still. 
The apples fear what awaits them after they have been eaten.
The apples would like to be reborn with legs.
The apples are too restless to meditate.
The apples were communist, but they soon converted to capitalism.
The apples knock each other off the top of the bowl – the politics of 
The apples curse quietly when one of them is chosen. 
The apples dream of orchards, the generosity of rain and sunlight.
The apples remember suspension, gravity, then falling–
The apples mourn when none of them is chosen.
The apples concede to my teeth, filling my mouth with their insides.
The apples, unlike us, would prefer time to hurry.
The apples at the bottom admire the apples at the top.
The apples wait to steal my life and turn it into an apple.
The apples cannot think beyond the bowl’s bright rim, the open
The apples are still waiting.

The Lover Waits For The End

The wait does end. The wait for his pardon on the morning he wakes
him with another man's name. The wait for a fight to slow and brake 
at a red light. The wait for rain to finish combing the streets so they 
can cross over and go home. The wait for the couple in the next car 
to stop looking in to see if it is a man or woman whose head is on his
shoulder. The wait for the wind of trauma to stop blowing, for their
lives to be still again. The wait for the future to settle into the forms 
they do or do not intend. The wait for the boy to stop cruising the 
older man at the sink, so he could wash his hands and check his 
reflection in the glass. The wait for a moth – handsome and broad as 
an open hand – to fly out the window, even as a part of him wished
that it would stay. The wait for each whistle of breath between the
lover’s snores, sounding off like a firework in a distant corner of the
neighbourhood. The wait for a prayer to come true. The wait for any
dream of his death to end, for the credits to roll, for the following
dream where he ran so fast across a field of time he forgot where,
when, who or whether he was. The wait for any doubt about each
other to darken and fall off a tree of their embrace like autumn leaves.
The wait for any picture his mind has sewn together to split, for 
reality's edges to spike right through. The wait for the face in the 
mirror to become not just a face but a doorway to truth. The wait for
the dying to stop and for the living to start again. The wait for the
effects of fever, numbness, fatigue – his lover’s head in his hands as 
joy drains away. The wait for surrender, revival, bonelessness, then 
for withdrawal again. The wait for music to knock on the mind, for 
the mind to let music in, peace to follow eventually. The wait for the
wheels of an old emotion to turn again, until what he felt become what
he felt or what he used to feel and would never feel again. The wait for
that deejay to shut up, so a new song would play, a song he actually
liked. The wait for peace to turn stale, when complacency is what it 
has become. The wait for the ending that hangs in the air without a
parachute. The wait for that shattering upon impact, so they might
move in to pick among the pieces, salvaging what is glittering and
whole, standing paralysed around the things they cannot save.




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