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End of Blood Orange Blossoms

                                    Michele Poulos


She throws white sheets like sails
over fruit trees, those
pale phantoms of the field.
The wide arc of her arm gestures
toward the entire lost fleet, sweeping

the early March air, brittle
as bark. The season’s frost
reaches the shore as branches

bend under her hand, their bright
wing-flutter of fabric
in this orchard by the sea. Ten years

since her son’s body knocked
against the wide sandy belt.
His eyes were groundfall
fruit, overripe, his toes raised
their blue scalloped edge.

Her song: Tomorrow they may keep.
She blankets another tree, her fingers
dark as the marmalade she’ll cook
tomorrow morning, syrupy

as a baby’s tongue. Her arms
roll like waves, a bright flame of cloth catches

the moon’s pout. With every snap
of sheet, she feels
his fingers curled like thorny
leaves catching at her skirt,

then slipping from her hip
to settle like childhood on the coast.


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