Post Road Magazine #26

Still Life with Light Bulb

Betsy Sholl

How much energy spent on envy!
urning all night, the light bulb knows

that an apple's still richer in the world's eye.
Though the bulb glows through fog

the way an apple doesn't—still, it's not loved, not
found at the world's start,

doesn't have its own alphabet page,
its own story of fall and attraction.

Can you read in the evening under an apple,
or turn it down low when your lover arrives?

An apple can't incubate eggs.
So, why are only apples polished on a shirt

and given to the teacher,
as if their dull inner stars could ever shine?

At least, the light bulb tells itself, nobody
draws an apple over the superhero's head

to show he's had a brilliant thought.
No, in fact, an apple's one idea

was very bad—just eat, eat, eat me.
And how dark the world became then.

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