–after Thomas Hart Benton’s “Apples of Discord” (1949)
Look, it was the only October apple left in the orchard,
depression falling down around us like steady leaves.
I counted Adam’s visible ribs from a distance, branches
on the denuded trunk of his sternum while the snake
and those women gossiped in harmony about my pumps,
tried to decide if my hair had been dyed when it was plain
as the paint and the open door on a barn that my red
is natural. I remember the tree root at my back. The silk
on my thigh, and the sky. What I cannot recall: the fruit
his hand cupped, heavy and delicate as my breast: over him
I’d hovered? Placed it there? Or this offering was his to me?