Poetry: The Apple/The Tree by Erica Massey

Photo by Paul Hanaoka

The names of children are dangerous
when they share their father’s faces
and whisper I love you at night.

There are those moments that fill you up
that dig their roots into your skin
and swell into the map of veins
that poisons your pale wrists.

But he is gone now
leaving nothing but loathing
and a flat in the city
with half-sized handprints on glass doors.

The names of children are dangerous
when speaking them is a memory
when you want to shake
the goddamn frost from your ankles

and run

But you can’t without taking them with you
and they are much too heavy to carry.

Erica Massey is a professor of English.

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