behind the shades

when i’m this close to you
i see you have another face
opening up wide as an apple orchard

i could just walk in
and the ground would be soft
the fruit would be ripe
i could eat an apple
and i would feel whole

i can see from your eyes
how plain and simple it would be
out there under the apple tree
the air clear as mind
with no business to clutter its impulse
clear as another century
before industry dominated the heart

but we’re sitting at the end
of the twentieth century
in an old ford
lightning cracking open the black sky
all around us
and you’ve turned
your devastatingly handsome face
to the side
and i can’t come in
to that apple orchard tonight
i can’t spread myself
under the thunder
and the rain

because you’ve turned that small town apple pie
face away
you pass me your profile
like a baseball card
with a short bio —
a guy who likes guy things —
but i know that somewhere there’s an orchard
with ripe apples dropping
and no one to gather them

wendy shaffer

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