February 22, 2024

Fruit of the Spirit

The idea of meeting God at the tangerine
is more than just your own desire
for color, texture, the intricacies of a pattern
you could not create on your own
beyond the lines your face makes
in the mirror as wrinkles gather
in the margins. It’s more than
the knowledge you’ve set the bowl out
for comfort, not food. Pretty and at
contrast with everything drab
in your day, a tangerine means
you are not on your last grain of rice.
You are not suffering even imaginary
scurvy in your emotional body
lost on a real sea. Such a bitter thing,
a tangerine. Your dog could swallow
it whole if he would. A dry one you could
bat across the yard for the dog to fetch.
Sit on one hidden in a school lunch bag,
and you’ll be sorry all day.

This isn’t about tangerines.
It isn’t about metaphor or faith
in any way you might define,
such bitter things until you want a bite.

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