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Tangerines

Peeling our way through

the bowl of tangerines, through

another unprecedented month

in a very dark winter. Rain

reminds us we’re stuck,

reminds us we won’t always be

in good standing. Ancient redwoods

twisting in the flames, just a few

months ago. Orange August,

oppressive September. The darkening

we knew was coming, and not.

Pile of peels and pith.

Already forgotten the wonder

of that first night we wandered

out, air barely breathable.

I saw the moon had dropped

its orange sheen, smoke skittering away

for a second. It was back

to its usual luminescent white self.

The white moon, the crickets

churning brought me to tears.

Had I lived in this beautiful country

all along? Sweet juice running down

my son’s face on another cheerless day

at the start of another new year

where numbers could no longer muster

meaning. The moon rose, and I stopped

drinking. The crickets noticed

the unseasonably warm evening,

black bodies moving under the watch

of the white, white moon, 

but I couldn’t hear a thing.

Posted 01/16/21
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