Peeling Oranges

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Peeling Oranges

We sat on the floor as you began, and

you told me how she showed you the way

to skin the sun in one single swoop.

But the burn you learned by yourself.

It happened when you were finished,

at the moment you pressed the peels to bitten lips,

during the time you smelt the layers stuck to your



The sticky sweetness was enough.

You explained why before speaking of Shiva,

and Ganesha and someone else I cannot remember, but

I do recall how you didn’t like it when I stepped over

your legs.

Once you asked, I would step back over, so

you could grow tall and lean, but – now –

I don’t know what you look like, whether

you grew or peeled or warned others of the burn.

I’m only left with my steps, and my inability to peel has not changed.

But I do know – now – how you shouldn’t have had to ask me to step back over,

because I never had to ask you.

You always peeled two oranges at the same time,

just so I didn’t have to burn. For that reason, I know

how you grew far above me.

Even back then, you were always tall and lean.

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