Issue Forty - Summer 2022

Neglected Apples

By Sarah Carleton

They wait in the fridge with sprouting garlic
and baggies of curry leaves, a season

trapped beneath their skin like a jinn.
No one eats them, yet we keep stocking up

at the grocery store and loading more fruit
into the crisper, already bruised.

Even straight from the produce shelves
these apples are not the tart crunch I once

snapped from branches at another latitude
—they’re soft and travel worn, with oval stickers

marking them as overly handled — but we buy them
anyway for the green sunburst at the stem

and the dappled red belly, which we rub shiny,
summoning the scent of an orchard in fall.

Copyright Carleton 2022