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.

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..