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  • Writer's pictureRachel Goulston

Sour Apples, Sweet Return

In July the apples were still sour

The grass below littered with red spots

Remnants of apples plucked

Once bitten and dropped

Rolling onto the asphalt

Crushed under spinning wheels

Hurtling towards mid-August

Where I

Wake up early one morning and drive to the coast

Eager to languish the sunrise

It’s rays stretching out over the beach

Caressing my face like golden hands

Until the return

When the basking wanes

And I notice the stickiness

Skin coated in salt

Two songs circling the radio

Time hanging low, swirling with the wind

Tousling my hair

And the juice dripping down my chin as I bite

Into an apple from my tree — ripe at last —

Settles on my face

Signals an end to the lingering loneliness

And I think about

Tomorrow night's ride to the airport

Windows down

Guided by the crescent moon

Soothed by a forgiving breeze

Knowing there’s an apple tucked away in the glove

Sweetened just in time to gift

To my love, coming home

Artist's Statement

We've had an apple tree in our yard for as long as I can remember. This year they ripened a little early, and my aunt was always complaining of neighbors picking them without realizing they would still be sour, but I waited until they were ready. Coincidentally, my partner happened to be flying out to move in with my family and I the same week that the apples were finally ready.

Follow Rachel Goulston (she/her) on Instagram @r.goulz

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