Crabapple Summer – by Allie Stokes

Crabapple Summer
In an alternate universe, we
were crab apples on
a hot sidewalk in summer.
Cracked open by
heat or the weight
of someone’s foot.
We can never be
sure of these things.

Bodies slick, skin
glossy pink guts turned
gray with harsh midwestern
sunlight. Becoming one with the
other coming one with the concrete.
Unclear of where the other
begins and ends.

I keep having anxiety dreams where
my cat is stuck underneath my car.
It’s inconvenient because
I can’t drive off and she won’t stop meowing.
We’re stuck looking at each other
with the same bulging pupils
filled with false hope.

I’ve been thinking about ruining
my life in more permanent ways.
Cutting my hair in 7/11 bathrooms,
coating dental floss with blood,
driving until
I find honest
hands to put my heart in.

Instead,
I stand on the same concrete
that killed us in the previous lifetime.
Snow covers the once red stain,
an afterthought come next season
a secret only we remember.

I pluck an eyelash to wish
for you in this universe
and the next.

Allie Stokes is a poet from southeastern Michigan. She received her MFA from Ashland University. She is a poetry and a creative nonfiction editor for The Black Fork Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Black Fork Review, QUA Literary Magazine, and Cosmic Daffodil Journal. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her cat, Belle.