The crunch is the thing, a certain joy in crashing through living tissue, a memory of Neanderthal days. —Edward Bunyard, The Anatomy of Dessert, 1929 Teeth at the skin. Anticipation. Then flesh. Grain on the tongue. Eve's knees ground in the dirt of paradise. Newton watching gravity happen. The history of apples in each starry core, every papery chamber's bright bitter seed. Woody stem an infant tree. William Tell and his lucky arrow. Orchards of the Fertile Crescent. Bushels. Fire blight. Scab and powdery mildew. Cedar apple rust. The apple endures. Born of the wild rose, of crab ancestors. The first pip raised in Kazakhstan. Snow White with poison on her lips. The buried blades of Halloween. Budding and grafting. John Chapman in his tin pot hat. Oh Westward Expansion. Apple pie. American as. Hard cider. Winter banana. Melt-in-the-mouth made sweet by hives of Britain's honeybees: white man's flies. O eat. O eat.
I will eat the apple
read Stephen’s note this morning.
He is volunteering to play Eve.
He wrote, I will eat the apple
—but there are no apples in the house.
We have no lascivious Honeycrisp,
no bonny Braeburn, no upright Baldwin.
We’re out of spry Granny Smiths,
the skulking Northern Spy,
or the mysterious Pink Lady.
Stephen does have an Adam’s apple
and I have an Apple computer,
but you can’t compare apples and oranges.
The note said, I will eat the apple.
Perhaps Stephen’s chasing out the doctors.
Perhaps he’s not falling far from the tree.
Or he’s already eaten from the tree of knowledge:
in Latin, malum means both apple
and evil. I think Stephen is sending a warning.
He means, I will protect you.
He writes, I will eat the apple.