oranges

oranges
(for j, in france)

if you left me one day
i would be obliged to give you an orange.

an orange, because its taste cannot be tossed away
and forgotten like some trinket.

it is not goodbye until you open it
peeling the scarred marks off my skin.

it is not goodbye until your fingernail breaks
the slow membrane that lets the juice flow

a stream of curses like tears, down your hands.
when you spread its sections apart and eat it

it will be memory dribbling down your chin.
this is how i occupy you, through your stomach.

my presence, in the seeds you do not know you swallow.
not your mind, where i am too easily found out.

your memory of me will be nowhere
your body does not know the touch of an orange.

in that vague way i would quarter you
till you were four and no more

in that vague way the smell of my memory
never leaves your hands.

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