Clinton’s Last Apple

Filed under: Poetry — Regina Cherry at 3:04 pm on Wednesday, June 13, 2007


War #4, 2006 Watercolor on Rag Paper

Gray overcast late afternoon
September Saturday – a bicycle ride
to a large irregular corner room
four beds, one empty – visitor chatter
Clinton has a view, inward now
into his own space – know it well
every gasp a deep struggle without
the feed line – lunch untouched
we talk – quotidian – just so much
searching for humor, graze politics – he knows
Allan’s time foredrawn – eschewing clearly
that hope of the terminal
“Take the apple” – “you’re sure?” –
I hate to waste food. ‘Take the Times,
can’t read much – just leave the art page.”
Air is getting thin, the tight
smallish cadmium medium/dark Red Delicious
weighs heavy in my pocket.
Tuesday Clinton decides to leave.

Another Saturday, brighter this time, earlier
hazed sun illuminating roof tops
a pale blue sky across town looking east
Allan speaks of his treatments, his pain
Irma goes for ice cream, vanilla – home made
nothing tastes any longer.
I sum my last visit with Clinton
“How was he ? did he gasp for air ? I know
nothing of this last part of his life”
I tell him all, the little I talked with him –
that I kissed him on his clammy forehead
good bye – Irma goes, Bressler comes
issues to tend to – I ride home in cotton reality,
keep the apple around.

Took it out of cold storage today
its girth still firm – skin
wrinkling over its humpback,
color dulling, bruises appearing on resting points
stem still attached after six months, picked
too soon – I return it to the cold.

For Clinton and Allan
3 26 04
R. Cherry NYC

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