Polaris

prejudice tastes like apple pie

By Lucy Wu

Volume 2 Issue 3

January 14, 2022

prejudice tastes like apple pie

Image provided by Pinterest

i

why

are our apples

not the same?


i concede

our exteriors

may not match

you arrive

pristine

untouched

from neighboring orchards

while i

may still be

bruised

manhandled

from my journey


but

if i wield

a knife

slicing through

translucent veins

and thin skin

wouldn’t you agree

we are the same?

ii

seventeen years ago

my mother

sowed her seeds

passed down

from her family

a figment

of her mother


in a fertile

promised land

she spread her roots

meticulously

and eventually

without fear


my belonging

a trellis

pale petals

wrapped around

her backbone


after sunset

i built palisades

shielding

her fragile sapling

from unforgiving wind

the piercing stares

so she could

assimilate

and flourish


each year

come gentle spring

her tree bloomed

borne from sacrifice

watered with tears

and we reaped

her ripened fruit

cherishing

its sweetness

yet

in one day

you intruded

on our garden

ravaging her tree

drowning her roots

breaking her branches

in insult

and scorn


what’s more

you claim

her lovely apples

my apples

as your own

a product

of your generosity


fallen from

the tree

that once was

small and shriveled

pale jade

and longing

there’s nothing left

to promise me

her daughter


how dare you

cut down

my mother’s tree

you take a bite

but i hope

you choke

iii

i walk to the market

looking for apples

scouring the aisles

peering at the mountains

it’s easy

to spot the bruised

with their browned skin

sunken in

i avoid those

and you do too


i handpick

just a few

with crisp sides

taut and overflowing

with their juices

almost

permitting myself

to believe

they’ll be perfect

but i’m no fool

i show you

how

i drag my blade

piercing the core

and examine

for rotting interiors

and disposing

rinse and repeat

you follow my lead

however

some elude me

the most deceiving

are the ones

that appear perfect

both inside and out

they make it

all the way

into the oven

seeping their spoiled

rancid juices

into my crust

my foundation

at the table

only i

notice the fragrance

wafting in the air

is wrong

it’s faint

but brimming with malice

spiced with hate

that’s the thing they don’t tell you

about prejudice

and pie

the apples seem fine

so naively

you taste them

and then

they reveal

their true flavors

only in the critical moments

in solitude

after the pie

whisked away

you’ll realize

in your throat

the aftertaste

souring bitterness

lingers forever

it’s a shock

when my tongue

deludes my eyes

nothing similar

in the slightest


i should warn you

it’s an acquired taste

one you develop

after years of picking them

letting them

ruin your pies


it’s subtle

yet

their acridness

so potent to me

i hope

maybe someday

you’ll taste it too

and possess

the wherewithal

to say something

but until then

i do not betray truth

i cut

a generous slice

feigning

a smile

through my salty tears

swallowing

whispering

it’s delicious