Ode to the Tangerine in the Hotel Room

It's that time of year, citrus already!


Ode to the Tangerine in the Hotel Room

Ode to the tangerine in the hotel room on the fourth floor,
snagged from a welcome luncheon,
big bowl of them, alien ornaments.
Now among conference freebies,
the lanyard and ice bucket,
the pens and notepads, cellophane sealed drinking glasses,
there against the beige and gray wall art and wall paper,
the metal and asphalt outside the locked window,
the fruit pulses,
the color conjures blue lupine or red roses,
its orange as impossible.

its segments
are called carpels.
The carpel
is the female
a flower.

I debated a long time whether to peel
the tangerine,
not wanting to be disappointed
if it was too dry or wet,
flavorless or turned,
perhaps too long away from its home
of waxy evergreen leaves,
its five petaled blossoms thick with scent.
Too long in a crate, on a truck,
in a warehouse, on a shelf.


I wonder if the golden nugget
offered at temples and weddings
feels on the desk of fiberboard and glue,
as I often do in cities, too messy, too biological,
complex, needy.
This is not human scale I complain
as I crane my neck around skyscrapers,
This is not natural I whine when driving a car.

Little ambassador of goodness.
I did not eat the citrus,
rather tested to see if I could fit it in my mouth whole,
(barely, but the oils from the skin
aromatized nicely)
then nestled it in my bra,
(tumor from a more fantastic planet,
a third firmer breast).
Tucked in my shirt sleeve,
the fruit of joy, bracelet bauble,
warmed against my wrist,
(reassuring as a handkerchief),
its nectar,
(sequestered bright tears).