I never use a peeler. I prefer
the sweet frisson of a paring knife
chasing my thumb around an equator
of red-green globe. I’m a risk-starved wife,
peeling apples for a son who insists
on naked fruit. I eat a snake coil of skin
and he says I’m disgusting, then kisses me on the mouth.
I’d do it all again–
marry the man, carry the sons. I’d eat
the whole McIntosh, seeds and all.
But I keep an eye peeled for that serpent.
I’m yearning for another Fall
and watching for new fruit to grow–
there’s something else I need to know.
Robert Perkins, Debra Wierenga, Self Portrait as Eve, 2007 will be part of the final presentation of Robert Perkins’s two-part exhibition entitled The Written Image at Benjamin Spademan Rare Books in London November-December 2017. The artwork to go alongside this poem can be found as the front cover of this issue.
Debra Wierenga is the author of Marriage and Other Infidelities. She lives in Michigan.
Robert Perkins (born Boston, 1949) is an American artist, filmmaker and writer. Perkins was educated at Harvard University and Bennington College. For fifteen years, Perkins produced independent films for PBS in the US and Channel 4 in the UK, travelling to wild and remote corners of the world. Aside from his films, Perkins is also known for The Written Image, an ongoing series of personal collaborations with poets, which he embarked upon in the 1970s. The series has been created in collaboration with renowned poets including Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney and Octavio Paz. Perkins’s work has been shown in exhibitions internationally, including the 2014 Ledbury Poetry Festival and most recently at Benjamin Spademan Rare Books in London. www.robertfperkins.com.