Once, while working among the fruit trees, I
found myself searching for perfection—
my freckled hands parted dusty leaves
to uncover apples, flawless red, whose
shape fit neatly into the canvas bag hanging
off my waist with the weight of kindness,
shifting as I reached further—
It was there I hit upon an undeniable odor,
a bitterness which stopped me before
I picked the last apple.
Standing on the pier, beneath restless clouds without an umbrella, I
watch a slow curtain of rain sweep across the horizon—its dark blue hem
dragging against the swell of white capped waves heading towards shore.
Soon, rain will surround me, and I will be soaked in that old & empty
odor that tastes oddly metallic yet certainly bitter as autumn’s worn
vocabulary. All my life I have wanted to watch without being touched.
As if living could be seen behind glass, like a miniature Victorian
Village. I wanted a life where I was left alone, not out of selfishness
or forgetfulness— no, no, not that at all. Still this want comes
& goes like these white capped waves rising, rising to fall
flat faced against the pier’s concrete, against me with a force
that anoints me, face first, without protection.
M.J. Iuppa lives on Red Rooster Farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Most recent poems, lyric essays and fictions have appeared in the following journals: Poppy Road Review, Black Poppy Review, Digging to the Roots, 2015 Calendar, Ealain, Poetry Pacific Review, Grey Sparrow Press: Snow Jewel Anthology, 100 Word Story, Avocet, Eunoia Review, Festival Writer, Silver Birch Press: Where I Live Anthology,Turtle Island Quarterly, Wild Quarterly, Boyne Berries Magazine (Ireland), The Lake, (U.K.), Punchnel’s, Camroc Review, Tar River Poetry, Corvus Review, Clementine Poetry, Postcard Poetry & Prose, and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, edited by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney(Norton), among others. She is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.