Blood Oranges


It’s a rainy, windy morning.
Cypress grieve the loss of sun,
tear away their own limbs.
I slice flushed oranges
to counteract persistent darkness,
their autumn skin and acidity
the tart wake-up I crave.

I am the one
who holds a sharp blade,
but today citrus
is the triumphant terrorist,
dismantling my body’s
failing defenses.

There is blood on my hands,
in my ulcerated belly, vivid flags
upon tile and towel,
mortality’s none-so-gentle nudge,
a reminder of unwise appetites
and worse addictions
for which we pay.

Jennifer Lagier