Tangerine Bones

Jessica Lakritz

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.