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.

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I was amazed at the different perspectives that people take regarding poetry and the multiple interpretations that can be effectively conveyed from one single poem."
Sydney Bayless
2017 AR POL Champion