Stacey Balkun is the author of Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak (dancing girl 2016) & Lost City Museum (ELJ 2016). A Finalist for the 2016 Event Horizon Science Poetry Competition as well as the Center for Women Writer's 2016 Rita Dove Award, her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Gargoyle, Muzzle, Bayou, and others. A 2015 Hambidge Fellow, Stacey served as Artist-in-Residence at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2013. She holds an MFA from Fresno State and teaches poetry online at The Poetry Barn.
B Y S T A C E Y B A L K U N
H E R M E N E U T I C C H A O S J O U R N A L
Settlers brought malus domestica
from Europe, planted seeds and cuttings
into bitter orchards, harvesting
the thick red pearls
off gnarled limbs, first
for cider and later
for a taste of something
sweet. Born to withstand
spoilage, yet we still fear
spreading rot. Tell an apple a day
to Eve. Each seed cyanidic,
poisonous as the settlers’ notions
of how one should tend
house, cover her ripe skin,
keep close to her family tree
until a man is ready
to pick her. With this
cultivation, it’s no surprise
the seeds can burn.
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