CITRUS IS MY ONLY HOME
To bite into an orange is not the same as to cut
into an orange is not the same
as to pick the orange
Ask my father, he knows the difference.
He buys a five pound bag from the same man by the overpass once a week,
sometimes twice. My sister and I beg him to stop. We have too many oranges in the house and
some of them are starting to mold and smell: sickly, sweet decay.
But no, today oranges, tomorrow cherries.
had to eat wet dog food while working the fields
“They put it on the stove and wrapped it up in a tortilla! Can you believe that shit?”
to keep from crying
that’s why he buys all these oranges to feed us
One summer all my mom would eat were pepitas
she’d buy in five pound bags from the señoras at the swap meet
My sister and I rolled our eyes at the stench:
sweet rotting orange salty seeds all sweat and tears
Now we squeeze oranges over our heads
Let their yolks drip down
And take turns
Baptizing each other in the sea
Alexandra Martinez is a baker and poet living in Brooklyn, NY. Send flowers to @alxndramartinez.