Orange Girl Suite [excerpt]
Young women carrying baskets of oranges used to stand near the stage in London theatres and sell oranges at sixpence apiece and themselves for little more
between dresses we came. between naked and nothing we slipped into the delirious coils of perfected ears, pear dust on our skin sarsparilla sounding our fizzied song in sailor mouths. we were translated by churchwomen who placed umlauts over our words. when we recovered, we were sold in beautiful clothes, sent sailing into the gulf where the moon pitched its lemon-lateness over the celluloid slickness of sea. we were movie stars who never entered the frame. we were green and gone lisping "o" words in the air: ode, odalisque, obituary. 2: The rynde of the orrendge is hot, and the meate within it is cold there are only two ways to peel an orange in fragments or in one coiling brightness. let us rewind and revel in the orangeade of sun- decked eyes. turn me spinning in a carousel-sweet dress ear marked by radio teeth red leaf breath. your arm is on fire as we ride in a dark car to the carnival. the constant clink of seatbelt to belt buckle. the sky’s cotton candy melting in a girl's cold mouth.
From Orange Crush by Simone Muench. Copyright © 2010 by Simone Muench. Used by permission of Sarabande Books, Inc..