BY AMANDA HAWKINS
I bought a pound of Arkansas Black
back in November—impossibly
hard, a little bitter, tart as tart apples can be,
the indentation leading to the stem
shallow, as if the apple had strained
away from the branch or the tree
itself had held the fruit at arm's length.
And then that paper bag browning,
rough on the tongue and reminiscent of scars.
Otherwise it's the darkest of them—dramatic like doomsday
from brown red brick to wine dreg maroon,
freckles that almost look cute. Funny,
the market man tried to warn me, said some of the above.
Said he wasn't sure they'd be my thing.
And it's true, I don't generally like apples. Too sweet
or common or prone to softness.
But the Arkansas Black—I hear it stores
impeccably. Midwinter and I keep
coming back to it. Something
nutty and improbable in the skin,
how unyielding it is. How challenging.
It warms my heart, makes me feel
like a better person
to hunker down with such