This sharp arm of river
with the sway-backed orchard fence
holding in arthritic trees,
each a contortion of the fallen fruit
laid bare beneath the April sky, the
gnarled veins of apples without the flesh,
wrung brown every passing day, the grass
the hair they no longer have,
these men who toil over apple trees
in labor that consumes them whole-
the way they eat the apples, tasting in
each bite of earth
the sweat of those who worked before,
now stuffed into the blushing skins
white with autumn rain and
the swollen heat that led the bees
to lock small legs around their flowers-
I feel guilty resting on the trees
these men have made, eating their bodies
from my hand, and feeling sweetness stumble
down my throat
as drunk on me
as any insect.

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