Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry

Issue 4 | Winter 2012

Sushil Sivaram

Apple Farming

. . . it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but,
on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness


Our hands break dark mud, chuck small stones away as though we are sorting earth itself into categories: A, B, C, D—stones never made anything grow. The 300 apple saplings like fingers. 3 by 3 ditches, farmhands wait to cool their palms in moist mud—I plant myself, my wife, my dogs—bury arms, legs, paws and tails; the flakes of dead skin from our bodies feed apple trees—eat apple tree, eat apple tree, eat. The mathematics of farming is an analysis in approximation—7 feet in between each M9, one crabapple surrounded by nine dwarfs
in case the bees don't come.