The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
The Oak Gall
By David Appelbaum
Remember a green chiffon ball
that lay at the foot of the stone walk,
then the dry brown for reparations.
When you touched my shoulder, I turned
to find nothing, no trace
but the deceit of gravel fertile
in purslane and pepperweed,
Dorn would pull it with a steel gaff
prodigal in his praise of you.
When you touched my shoulder
with your heel, I remembered
the browning ash under it, still crisp
as our twin faces held the universe
crushed inside the narrow sphere,
brother and brother, two cords
enchained, a difficult birth,
wintered together with once—green leaves.
As we gathered, the dust in little mounds
scattered the wind with it,
I remembered it lifted a feather
whose silence floats to the ground.
If you still listen, remind me
to adore such gifts--
brothers when we touched
forehead to forehead, shank to shank,
before dry earth undid the flush.