Suppose an Apple

    of Queen Elizabeth I
    who lifted her spirits
    by its smell,
    and a boy tipping
    one after another into
    the pounder, of cider,
    of calvados,
    of Pliny who told
    about those who ate naught
    and lived by
    this smell alone. Suppose
    from a filigree of
    raggedy rows,
    from windfalls pillowed
    laden branches,
    perfect in the palm
    round, firm
    smelling of morning,
    of crispin, ginger gold,
    jonathan, winesap from
    the Shenandoah Valley,
    of gravenstein,
    paula red and ruby jon,
    of peelings yellow, green, red
    and nearly black,
    of firm white flesh
    sweet and tart.


    Gelatinous worm,
    all open and hollow, but
    now coming up opaque
    in the middle--
    catch it as it limps by
    light-heavy, da-dum
    sleepy mms with
    soft lips, but now
    the tongue,
    on its own, curls
    an el that slides
    from tongue tip
    to teeth, becomes
    sibilant sighing
    feathery wisps
    what is that word
    this poem needs?

    Sketches From Outside Tables

    toMAte moz'RELli caPREsi
    three fat syllables pool
    into the balsamic vinegar,
    essence of basil and tomato
    lifts from the plate
    into an evening air still liquid
    with the waiter's words.


    A few old boys not needing to say much
    quaff their usual Peronis in glasses
    tall and slim as maidens.
    Their table is the one
    at the back edge, always will be,
    and life is this--a good familiar


    She turns her head and blows one nervous
    plume of gray smoke straight up,
    unseen above the heads of the others,
    and under her pink T-shirt,
    not her perfect breasts peaking
    but her lungs dark as the blackened
    bones caging them.


    Six friends,
    fat chianti bowls lifted
    by fragile stems, a tribute,
    a robust salute
    to each other, to love,
    to the night!
    A swarm of Vespas pass,
    buzzing loud and angry.
    No one notices.


    Laughter's sudden swell
    breaks over the diners
    covering them, they raise their voices
    and float above the chatter, the clatter,
    the plumes, the spumes, and
    drift off into a night air warmed by
    jasmine blooms and
    old wine.

    Bio Note
      Wanda McCollar is an English teacher who directs a worldwide online writing workshop for high school students enrolled in the US Department of Defense school system known as DoDDS. Her poems have been published in Chile Verde, and the collected works of poets, Rites of Spring, and Radio, Radio! She lives in Germany and spends what time she can writing, and exploring Europe with her camera. She is currently working on her second novel.