Cut apples

after Nayna Minda

I remember our little kitchen above the pub. The tiny window of light, a small set of table and chairs and orange tablemats. I always imagine it in the afterschool golden hour between five and six on a summer eve. And you cut an apple for me.

Slice the knife through and around the pips. Shave away thin wisps of juicy apple flesh to leave me the sumptuous parts; my half-moon snack. Red apples were and remain my favourite because in my dreams I was Snow White, destined to stare unblinking at glass lids, but I never bit down hard into their skin. 

You cut them for me instead, showed me, expertly, how to dismantle something both pretty and poisonous. You loved me in that kitchen – bathed in forgotten light, the day drawing to a close, bending on its knees. 

And even though he still cuts apples for me – loves me just as deeply. I’ve always remembered how to pull things apart; how to force my fists through spun glass and carefully unpick each shard from my trembling, snow white hands; how to wake up, eyes wide without needing a kiss.

Poem: © Kristiana Reed 2021

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