M.E. MacFarland

Malacasoma

For several weeks in summer the crowns
and branches
of the apple trees wear silk

dense and withheld, like a word shouted underwater.

On clear nights
it’s like an ill-timed Halloween,
the globes of pale, huge fruit
glowing above the indigo grass
with dozens or hundreds of animated seeds.

In the boring afternoons a boy
likes to swing into them
with a stick, make the curled bodies fall
from the wound
like rain from a cloud
if rain were ink and solid

—because after all
there are so many tents
who will miss just this few?

He is a barbarian of the field,
teaching himself religion.
Songbirds converge

and raise a violent din.

M. E. MacFarland received the 2014 Southern Writers’ Symposium Emerging Writers award in poetry. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he attends the University of Virginia MFA program.

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