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ma moitié d’une orange

(for manou)

“Heart to Heart” (Rita Dove, from _American Smooth_)

It’s neither red
nor sweet.
It doesn’t melt
or turn over,
break or harden,
so it can’t feel
pain,
yearning,
regret.

It doesn’t have
a tip to spin on,
it isn’t even
shapely–
just a thick clutch
of muscle,
lopsided,
mute. Still,
I feel it inside
its cage sounding
a dull tattoo:
I want, I want–
but I can’t open it:
there’s no key.
I can’t wear it
on my sleeve,
or tell you from
the bottom of it
how I feel. Here,
it’s all yours, now–
but you’ll have
to take me,
too.

(You were the peace in the middle of an ego-filled blizzard last night – “B4T by Imani Henry” 😦 …you (all of you) make things better.)

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