10-Line Tuesday

February 28, 2012

peeling apples
"Write as if you were dying," the teacher tells us. "Because you are."
I'm trying to wrap my mind around this, having spent so many years
shrinking from death, holding it back by the brute force of my own terror.
Now, I'm to act as if it were right here, hovering dangerously close to my ears.
What about the languorous thread of minutes I had been so bent on teasing out,
the slow, meticulous laps in the pool of an examined, marinating life? But then,
one morning, peeling apples for sauce, I find myself hypnotized by the spiral route
the skin takes, the sudden nakedness of flesh, the knife going through again and again.
And just like that I'm wedded to the task like my life depended on it, full of new fidelity
for these fleeting beauties, in love even with loss. And I knew there was nowhere else to be.