Laura Ohlmann


Les Pommes by Felix Vallatton

We sleep under the backyard orchard in Seattle—
apples fall to the roof like a mallet against a gong.
Back home, Dad is spinning the chamber of his revolver
from bed. I send him a photo of the space needle,
rising above the city like the pyrocumulus of nuclear fission
he promised would kill us one day.
When you see the white mushroom explode over Fort Lauderdale,
walk towards it, he told me leading my pointer finger
north to the line of buildings that watched us in the distance.
Wind runs through the cracked car window and shakes
the scraps of dead apple from the roof. I step outside, careful
to avoid the skin of fruit that lays open like a palm.


About the writers:
Laura Ohlmann is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida. Her work has appeared in The Maine Review, GASHER, South Florida Poetry Journal, The Rumpus and others. She enjoys sleeping in her converted Honda Element and biking up mountains with her partner and dog.

Image: Les Pommes by Felix Vallatton (1865-1925). Oil on canvas. 28.9 x 39.4 inches. 1911. Public domain.