Tangerine Bones

The fruit is sweet and alive. You spend
your whole life wanting it
to mean something, and the fastest way
to discard the bones is to burn them.
I took a picture of a purple house, I took a picture
of a white line across a pale blue sky, I took
a train to the place where I would bury
my bones, I took the last flight out of Atlanta
for the night without knowing
the destination. Your whole life,

it means something
while you’re living it,
isn’t that enough? I played a song,
pressed my fingers to the cold keys, I felt it go
through to the other side. I took a picture in the sky
of my mind as I flew across the Atlantic
and saw my white line draw itself into the
Eastern morning. Ashes to ashes, bones to ashes,
tangerine bones to tangerine trees, I figured it out.

In Spanish, fruit seeds are called huesos, or bones,
that’s why he called them tangerine bones.
Now I want to make love in a forest
the air sharp-full of pine and dogwood (you know
they always told me about the curious way
that dogwood smells like semen).
It all factors in, somehow, the accumulation
of each bit of one thing into something else.
He’ll pull out
to plant seeds
into the earth, and
it will mean something to me.


Switchback | Volume 12: 2016