Apple Rant

Karlo Sevilla

 

Apples are overrated:
I prefer mangoes and bananas –
the top agricultural produce
of my country.

It’s neither patriotism nor any zeal
more biased or dangerous.
(Or maybe it is.)

It’s just that apples taste blander
to my native tongue,
compared to mangoes and bananas.

But many of my own people
favor apples.
And I think it’s less of the taste
and more of the origin:
“Epols are from the US of A!
Yay!”

(Though I’ve heard
that by some miracle
we’ve started growing apples here
where it’s predominantly hot and humid.)

+ + +

One December evening
in the early 80’s,
my father bought four apples
from the high-end Rustan’s Supermarket.

They were held together by a piece
of snow-white styrofoam underneath;
their Christmas-red skin glowed
through transparent plastic wrapper.
They were quite expensive.

Mid 1990’s, their price
drastically deflated,
and heaps of them flooded
the stall of every street fruit vendor.

I started consuming more of them,
albeit half-heartedly.
And I’d rather have them in fruit salad –
with mangoes and bananas.

Recently, I read about
Filipino fruit pickers
who worked orchards in Washington.

Maybe I tasted more of their fingers
than the fruit itself
every single time.

+ + +

Right now, I treat myself
to a slice of apple pie
(paired with barako coffee).

It tastes good!

Apple tastes good . . .
as pie filling,
with a cup of hot coffee.

 

 


Karlo Sevilla of Quezon City, Philippines, authored the full-length poetry collection, Metro Manila Mammal (Soma Publishing, 2018), and two chapbooks. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Philippines Graphic, DIAGRAM, Revolt Magazine, Dissident Voice, Radius, Matter, Line Rider Press, and elsewhere. In his spare time, he volunteers for the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers).

If you enjoyed this piece, consider supporting Protean Magazine on Patreon!