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By Roisin Kelly

I’ll choose for myself next time

who I’ll reach out and take

as mine, in the way

I might stand at a fruit stall


having decided

to ignore the apples

the mangoes and the kiwis

but hold my hands above


a pile of oranges

as if to warm my skin

before a fire.

Not only have I chosen


oranges, but I’ll also choose

which orange — I’ll test

a few for firmness

scrape some rind off


with my fingernail

so that a citrus scent

will linger there all day.

I won’t be happy


with the first one I pick

but will try different ones

until I know you. How

will I know you?


You’ll feel warm

between my palms

and I’ll cup you like

a handful of holy water.


A vision will come to me

of your exotic land: the sun

you swelled under

the tree you grew from.


A drift of white blossoms

from the orange tree

will settle in my hair

and I’ll know.


This is how I will choose

you: by feeling you

smelling you, by slipping

you into my coat.


Maybe then I’ll climb

the hill, look down

on the town we live in

with sunlight on my face


and a miniature sun

burning a hole in my pocket.

Thirsty, I’ll suck the juice

from it. From you.


When I walk away

I’ll leave behind a trail

of lamp-bright rind.


Source: Poetry (September 2015)

  • Activities
  • Living
  • Love

Poet Bio

Roisin Kelly
Roisin Kelly was born in Northern Ireland and lives in Cork City, Ireland. Her work has appeared in The Stinging Fly, The Interpreter’s House, Southword, and HARK. See More By This Poet

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