THAT TIME OF YEAR
It begins with orange blossoms:
Their scent so strong it limns
the cough of rush hour traffic,
their petals so virginal, so ripe.
I hang a red tapestry
over my bedroom shades,
let the light redden as the sun startles
the birds and wakes me early.
This is when I smoke.
Cloves numbing my tongue,
patio pink and fading, cats everywhere,
and dogs barking after them.
I want to tell you of the taste.
It is a dimly lit room, where most
will agree the shadow favors them.
I want to tell you these exhalations
of the world: Love, smoke,
traffic coughing, cat-calls,
anything that hides the light of morning.
But it is the oranges I remember most.
When the oranges drop,
when the scent is found
only in the mind and on my fingers,
I buy the whole cloves,
use them for piercing orange-rinds
and hang these by strings in the kitchen.
THE HIGHER SHELF
Watch the donut and not the hole
The psychic tells me you are sorry
for not visiting more often, that you
still chant limericks like a crown
chants thorns. Now you know all
my secrets. Without, I’ve learned
the excess of living. St. Catherine
claimed she lived on prayer alone.
Last night I buried our ram. Last night
a weasel took all the hens’ heads. Now
the cat is missing. Your granddaughter
reminds me, it’s the circle of life.
Where you died for the last time,
is it where you died for the first?
Andrea England is the author of Inventory of a Field (Finishing Line Press). Her work is forthcoming in Midwestern Gothic, Sonora Review, The 3288 Review and others. Most recently she had the honor of being a Writer-in-Residence at Firefly Farms (SAFTA). She lives and works in Kalamazoo Michigan, where she teaches English and Creative Writing for various universities and organizations.