Michael Medeiros


Blood Oranges

We’ll eat blood oranges on the back
path between our houses, throw the
peels in the evergreens behind the
Golden Greek, get breakfast there
and walk down to the shore. The
color of sunset is blood orange,
I can smell it or is that the shore?
We’re on Tin Can Island
we’ve slept and are wet with September
morning dew. Last week it was warm,
this week we’re near frozen to the grass
tips frosted like your cousin’s at
the Aaron Carter show, his velvet shirt
like these lamb’s ear weeds growing by
the gravestones or are they mullein?
Everyone’s got another name for everything.
Your grandmother will wonder where
her blood oranges went. There’s a discount
grocer sells them four for a dollar when
just next door the tidier shop asks $2
apiece. Sunrise is glowing purple this morning:
what warning does that give the scallopers
headed out to sea for the next week, never
knowing what’s happening on the shoreline,
that the wake their boats leave on the way
out the hurricane dike rushes up the beach
in vertical humps that touch your feet and up
over the hem of your jeans where we thought
the tide wouldn’t reach. If you hadn’t taken
your shoes off to feel the dirty white foam your
shoes would be soaked through and your
walk home would be miserable. We’d have
had to have gone barefoot to bear it and
that would mean walking the dirt paths
behind the highway and that would mean
who knows what? I swear Bill still lives out
there even though we haven’t seen him.