Physical Laws

My mother packed lunches
for my father every morning, her tears sliding
down the knife into the bag.

If a red
delicious married Granny Smith for her
shine, would their children grow
to manifest gravity, or would the fruit

just come out with mixed feelings?
When Newton was under that tree
thinking about gravity, I doubt he paused
to check the ground for bruises. Things fall
all the time, the earth’s skin is tougher

than it is round.
And when he made his discovery,
he was surely astounded. Humans exaggerate
when they’re scared, so if I said you and I
were chest to chest does that mean

we were an arm’s length apart
I am slicing red—
the color of unfulfilled hunger
in sleepless eyes. I bet it felt euphoric in its tree,
unaware that good things always come down.

—Candace Howze

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