When I Was Nine, I Craved an Orange
Oranges grew sparsely
and far from us. I knew someone
with tired joints and argent hair
who went miles
for a bag. A mild man, friend
of my father. His voice was soft,
a lake in the wildwood clearing
where horses drink, gentle
wavelets rolling in
a ballet of water.
He overheard me on Wednesday and
on Thursday in the bated daylight
he left a nosegay of bright citrus,
the centerpiece on our dining table.
I feasted on the miracle fruit
for days, shearing the rind
from the flesh, in savagery.
Adam must have clawed at the apple
with the same frantic violence.
He who brought the oranges,
friend of my father,
was always gentle. Too gentle lungs
bent beneath some
fit of force one winter. Like
weeping willows, bowed.
Now, when I bite into
a clementine and the juice
clings to my throat, the
feral bliss is gone.
I guard twilight
Two birds recite
A congress of deer
thickens in the dark
And like every night
I hold the moon still
But tonight it trembles
in my grasp
Sakina Qazi is a senior at the University of Miami. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Amethyst Review, Neologism Poetry Journal, Wilder Things Magazine, Morning Fruit Magazine, and Nymphs Literary Journal.