The Lemon Tree
A farmer was wandering through his orchard at harvest time, when he saw an apple hanging from one of his lemon trees.
Once, night, unchallenged, extended its dark grace
across the sky. To the credit of the town, the stars
at night had been enough, though sometimes
the townspeople went about bumping their heads
I didn’t know that girl was in my belly until the heartburn set in, acid foaming into my esophagus and escaping in a huff of steam wafting silver moonward.
Each birth came too early, the samurai’s daughter producing a peach pit with the face of a crying boy or girl.
she pickes mye foote up by the heele
dragges hir fingre padde
along myn arche
& seith unto me
thow hath a noblewoman’s foote
A poplar tree shakes its wet hair
in front of a mental hospital in Ch’ŏngyangni
Maybe the night wind is blowing—
It’s unsettling to meet people who don’t eat apples.
He made his choice. He still speaks, still lives.
He rarely spoke, and never revealed his identity or the reason for his endless trek.