When we last made applesauce, we made our last love.
For what other reason do blade and apple meet than separation?
So I used the knife and you doused the apples with brandy
and we took turns stirring them over a low flame
until they bloomed again, heaving and sighing
as they eased from their tight red jackets.
And though we set them aside to cool
while I walked the dog, while you must have napped,
the slurry in the bowl I steadied in my hands
as you worked the food mill was still warm,
flushed like skin in the moments of coupling.
Once we would have caught each other’s glance
and stopped, smiling at what we had made,
but we’d already risen and dispersed like steam
through the windows we’d opened in the other,
leaving only applesauce, bowl, and blade.
Leslie McGrath is a poet and literary interviewer living in Stonington, CT. Winner of the 2004 Pablo Neruda Prize for poetry, she is the author of Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage (2009), a poetry collection, and Out From the Pleiades: a novella in verse (Jaded Ibis Press, forthcoming). Her chapbook focusing on mental illness and stigma, By the Windpipe, is forthcoming from ELJ Publications. Her poems have recently appeared in The Awl, Agni, and The Common. She teaches creative writing and literature at Central Connecticut State University, and is editor of The Tenth Gate, a new poetry imprint of The Word Works press.