The eye chews the apple,
sends the brain
an image of the un-apple. Which is similar
to the way I throw my voice
like a Frisbee, like salt
over a shoulder, a birthday party
where someone’s brother
is grilling hot dogs, a little speed
in his blood,
some red balloons. The eye
is the most deceptive
organ in the body.
Followed closely by the hand,
which refuses to accept
that touch comes down
to the repulsion of electrons,
so that when I hold
the hand of the person I love,
mostly I am pushing
him away. Which has something to do
with the striking resemblance
between a bag
of individually wrapped candies
and the human heart.
The sticky glass
of their shattering. How love
can crack like a tooth
kissing a sidewalk,
the way right now someone’s car leapfrogs
a sidewalk, her body
making love to the windshield
and becoming
the windshield. And still the fireflies glow
with their particular sorrow.
The police tape
separating the mind from everything
that is not the mind
proves imaginary. My eyes
find the face
of the person I love
and pull out their fork and knife.

More by Ruth Madievsky

Ficus

I split three pills with my ficus and now
it’s being weird. It won’t drink my breath or eat
the sun or fight off
the spider and his wife, whom I also
split three pills with,
because it’s Christmas, because
I was sad driving past
the shuttered stationery shop and the woman
dragging her kid on a leash.
I split three pills with the woman
and three pills with the kid. I measured my heart rate
and pronounced myself legally dead. My ficus
gave me three pills. I felt better. I told
a bath towel, and my friend’s bulldog,
and the dregs at the bottom
of my tea. I told the three pills in my pocket
and the three pills
in my bed. Each one
a loose pearl
ready to string together
in my belly, in the bellies of people I loved
or thought of when I watched a pigeon
disappear inside a hawk.

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The Path

There is so little to go on: a pale
trembling hand as I stand over you,
my finger tracing the words on the page,
a foreign language you are learning
for a journey without me. You will do
fine, I say. You will wrap your tongue
around these sounds and be understood,
be given what you desire: a loaf of bread,
change for your money, an antique doll
with violent eyes. Paintings are hanging
on walls, behind glass, waiting for you
to admire them. Their plaintive beauty
will move through you and you will walk
back to your hotel through the park
I know well. I spent years there walking
its bridle path, a gray cat in my arms,
moving toward you, blind, in another life.