The Common Good
July-August 2001

The things they don't tell you about heaven

by Jill Alexander Essbaum | July-August 2001

Apples still taste like apples. 

Apples still taste like apples. The funny thing is,

serpents taste like apples too, and kisses and bread.

In fact, it is all about apples, this place. Everything

you touch is smooth and red. Your skin is comfortably

heavy on your bones, like that sleepy moment

between being awake and falling into a dream.

The moon is a pendulum clock, and light from the sun

comes down in drops, as rain. And as any child will tell you,

what we call rain is really tears, the soul of God weeping

over something great or small, as anything with a soul

will do from time to time. Mostly, it is the apples,

and a longing kind of sad. They are firm as musculature.

They smell like the flesh and juice of unrequited love.


Jill Alexander Essbaum's collection of poetry is Heaven (University Press of New England). She teaches English at Concordia University in Austin, Texas.

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