World Order

by Lesley Wheeler

With a blunt knife, cheap, he slices the out-
of-season apple, applying reasonable force,
thump, thump, and the hiss of cells torn open.

Window beside him a polite shade of blue,
not too, too, and the maple gracefully
conveying leaves so tender and appropriate.

This is a civil kitchen. No need to explain itself.
Gritty clouds of fur beneath the fridge vibrate
in silence. Onions too chilled to express themselves.

No news of what’s mortgaged. Who ripped
that marble counter from what ground. Where
the apple grew. The grievous rain that swelled it.

Lesley Wheeler’s books include Radioland and Heterotopia, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Propagation. Her poems and essays appear in Cold Mountain Review, Ecotone, Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere, and her novel, Unbecoming, is scheduled for publication in 2020. Poetry Editor of Shenandoah, Wheeler teaches at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and blogs about poetry at

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