My uncle the magician came

with a basket of oranges.

The smell of citrus leaked

out through the house, 

heady, redolent, and sour-sweet like grief.

Inside the basket, a hole with the moon;

inside the moon, my face without color,

face-bones protruding like old

ruined structures.


In our house by the lagoon, where we lived

for ten years, an orange tree grew at the back of the garden.

It was heavy year-round with fat promises of health.

We squeezed the fruit with our hands, squishing

the pulp, drinking juice swimming with

these remnants of flesh. I remember ice cubes and glass,

my father’s strong fingers. Still, the ground underfoot 

crumbled with rot.  


My uncle the magician holds a basket of oranges.

An orange for longevity. An orange for luck.

He undoes the skin, showing nothing but air—

Come here, he beckons,


Eat this, he says.