Orange
by Lanette Cadle


From that first bite of thumbnail through pebbled skin
and the spouting spray of oil that tickles the nose
or hits you straight in the eye, no it’s not shy. Children
take a wedge and make toothless smiles, a joke
that never grows old because it’s expected;
it always delivers the laughs on cue. One
section at a time on the playground, they share
until it’s gone and the sweetness it leaves
on the tongue is matched only by the acid burn
that follows. Later, the peel wrapped in a paper towel
is shoved in a pocket until it’s time to go in. The smell lingers
even then, taunting from the bottom of the metal wastebasket,
overwriting the chalk dust and pencil shavings.






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