when I close my eyes and think apple by Sarah Bricault


when I close my eyes and think apple
by Sarah Bricault 

red and green ones march across
the wallpaper, an apple-shaped clock
chimes the hour, the sugar and flour
nestle in ceramic apples, everything is
like the first day of school, even
the platter of sandwiches boasts
an apple-on-plaid pattern. I remember
there once was a cat in this kitchen, but
it’s like a memory of a dream, fraying
at the seams, and I do not know what
the cat looked like, or what her name was,
but there is a cat-shaped hole in
this orchard of a kitchen, a memory
of a memory of a cat and I remember
this kitchen always smelled like cigarettes,
when she was here, before the oxygen,
and sometimes they gave me clothes
and I thought they smelled like grandma
when really they smelled like smoke, but
there isn’t a grandma-shaped hole
in this kitchen because they are
the same shape in my memory, she was
always this kitchen, apples everywhere,
and I know that’s not true, but it’s where
I hugged her hello, and goodbye, where
I had to be careful not to step
on the oxygen line, where grandpa
would tickle me to the floor, where 
that tiny kitchen table holds its breath
so it can squeeze into the nook, where
I would dread the inevitable raspy
questions about my love life
is there a special boy, yet? we went
apple-picking this year and I felt like I was
reinventing the apple, putting another
facet to the memory, evolving the 
vision to something crisp and clear
and new where we stand on 
tiptoes and twist gently before the
tree gives way, and there’s the ghost
of grandma in this orchard, apples
everywhere, we bring home a bag,
and I admit I am glad that when 
I bite into the crisp sweetness and
close my eyes, I see more than 
simple fruit

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Sarah Bricault

Sarah Bricault has a PhD in neurobiology and currently works as a postdoc in that field. Her fascination with the mind and how it processes information often finds itself in her poetry, as do themes related to mental health. Sarah’s work can be found in Brown Bag Online, High Shelf Press, The Poeming Pigeon, Beyond Words, Wingless Dreamer, and elsewhere.

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