KAZAKHSTAN — Michael Angelo Stephens

The apple in the palm of my hand is
Nothing like the apples in my crazy

Head, going back to the bitter tastes of
Childhood, the apple vinegar of pain

And the rotten apples of old angers
Going back to the root of every—

Thing, the abuse in Brooklyn, in the house
And outside the house on the street, apples

In a paper bag, bought from a horse-drawn
Cart, these vivid memories are as if

Nothing compared to the apples of rage.
The apples of never-again, of no

Forgiveness, apples of merciless tears,
The torn curtain flapping out the window.