Destiny O. Birdsong
The tangerines you brought me have gone bad.
One brown bulb leaks a ring of bitter syrup
on the crusted glass of the unused kitchen table.
I should let them go, though some are good:
still holding to their orange: the navels tight,
the pocked skin glossy—unyielding to the end.
My mother says: never throw a good thing away,
but she once returned a borrowed Michael Kors purse
by lobbing it onto my sister’s manicured lawn,
only to come back the next morning, wiping down
the dew-sticky leather, blow-drying the silken lining
before slipping in her wallet and keys.
How she would scramble for these sunken-in globes,
nestle them in napkins, tuck them into the puckered bag.
So I drop them, one by one, into the trash.
first appeared in IthacaLit