Lee came to visit me after living in Florida
the past year. We sat on the porch discussing
the autumn flavor of upstate apple orchards,
and I asked him about the oranges there in Florida,
if they were as lush as in the pictures I had seen.
Locking his wrists, he provided two cupped
hands, as if shielding an orange, and told
about the sorrel hued sun reaching
down the smooth grained meridians of its face.
Then lightly, with all the shadowed depth
of water, he drew one hand back, holding
the other flat, showing me how to peel,
the kerchiefs of air shearing
from his pinched fingers.
Suddenly his arm grazed the lamp,
mahogany and blown glass,
knocking it from the side table.
It broke against the ground,
shattering into leaflet splints
of colored wood and glass,
like the mingling points
in "Le Bec Du Hoc."
And the swallows in the field next door,
scared up by the sound, took flight,
a thousand stellar points of motion exploding.
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