La Chambre

A red wooden chair. Jackets. A kitchen table. A teacup. A window. Oranges. A brick wall. A kettle. A stove. A refrigerator. A bureau. A bedside table. When I first met you, you were alive. I thought you were eating an apple. I have this memory of you in my bed eating an apple. But you were just simply in my bed, looking at me, not eating an apple, as if to say you’ve come back, but only for a few moments. A green blanket. A red metal chair. A rocking chair. A window. A desk. A bowl. A lamp. Layers of paint. A dish rack. A bra. A calendar. A wash basin. A mirror. Dishes. Soap. A door. Some curtains. That chair again. A wall that looks like a tin roof. That teacup again. And there is an apple. I knew there would be an apple. I remember how you once sat in my bed and ate an apple. Do you remember how you once sat in my bed an ate an apple? Was it this apple? The one on the table? A little baby elephant. The ocean. A closed umbrella. The way the earth moves in an earthquake. The way the sun shines on the waves. You were eating an apple last time I saw you, not just rocking back and forth under the sheets, but sitting up, and eating an apple as if all of your love would come out of your teeth, like venom from a snake, and straight into the heart of the red apple. It is the only thing I am sure of now. A team of oxen. A waterfall. The gears of a watch. A statue of a man holding the sun above his head. An overflowing glass of milk. A shadow of a cleaver. A pile of church bells. A sad duck. An abandoned throne. And this is the apple, still, on the table that you once ate in my bed, in my memory, but my memory is a lie. My life is a lie. And you are a lie. And I know only now, so vividly, how you never polished the apple with your hands, how you never scraped all the way around the apple along the bottoms of your teeth, and how you never took three long bites and licked at the fruit with the flat of your tongue, and how you never ate the apple, like a dying animal, like a dying thing that so badly needs a living thing inside of it. I don’t even remember you rubbing your eyes and going to sleep. I don’t remember you at all.