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Eden

David Epstein


Not words alone pleased her. —Milton


And when the orchard breathes

its bitter apples back at me,

the rain runs all the ink on your old letters

that I left out, that they might take some sun. Thus


are fictional children born, your terms pouring off your page, swept up in a day

they couldn’t see, watering arugula, peony, and ice. These


days I’m willing to take you into my life as if

you were an orphan underfed of air, a blue child

whose heart doesn’t so much beat as crinkle,

the ink in your veins a fable. Set the scene:


small-town theatre marquis, lights out, gum-spots

on concrete underneath. Full-length glass doors,

locked. They stand seeing their reflections, hands

clasped. Behind them—behind us—not Main Street but

Jonagold, Gala and Rome.

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