Topography of an Apple

by Lyra Davies

It perches there,                           ripe and globular;
knitted together from           the pinks of the world,
orbiting its own                                 red roundness
like a planet collapsing;                         star-struck,

sunburned and                               staining the sky.
The classroom circles it               like the geography
test is a carousel,              and each revolution sends
us spinning, ducking,                                 bobbing.

The Pacific                                  deflates and spills
through double-glazed                          glass panes
in moon-beaded rivulets,                       welling up
on the sun-lanced            carpet and lacing us with

salty fish-hooks.           The troposphere is tapping
on the skylight,                   dripping cumulonimbi 
onto our exam papers                   (wet ink marbles
our fresh photocopies               until question four

is illegible).                                    Swallows tumble
through the windows,                                   flitting
between shafts                  of jalousie-sifted sunlight
and gliding on                             watercolour wings

like paper aeroplanes,               their bodies always
slightly ahead.                     They nose through the
gaping casement towards                    the sky to be
shredded                           in a thrusting jet engine,

feathers parachuting                         like fistfuls of
confetti                            onto bulging rain clouds.
The apple rolls off                 the varnished bureau
and plunges earthwards                     like a meteor,

emerging in the concave                       of a creased
palm, with bruises                 like canyons or moon
craters;                                         topography like a
city skyline: pitted                               and uniform

in banality                              as a stranger breathes
something high-flown                                into the
stars