The old language

says the apple

is the old apple

and spoke

in categories,

it gave her

the dance floor

she needed, all

those vocabularies

and animal nights

before her. Spotted fur.

Lithe. Taut.


The syllable in apple

and the ecstasy of

naming. Or was it

knowing? Windows

swing open.

The chest

a hammering thing.


I might as well say it.

This hammering

thing, Life, as I’ve

known it, know me,

is over. The apples

are scattered

on ground.


The earth reclaims

its booty right be-

for the eyes. So

swiftly the letters

replace. The

letters dearrange

and uncompose

the self in itself.


Am I in danger,

the orchestral side

is taking away me,

these letters

no longer anchor.

Peter Gizzi is the author of In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems 1987-2011 (Wesleyan, 2014), Threshold Songs (Wesleyan, 2011), The Outernationale (Wesleyan, 2007), Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan, 2003), Artificial Heart (Burning Deck, 1998), and Periplum (Avec Books, 1992). He currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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