On the desk you left a dry orange: a crumbled rind
and sour insides acidic to the touch, sugar drying
in curled traces on the wood-grain. I think you wanted
to paint it—capture some juicy drops in oil and turpentine.
But the sunlight glowing in those citrus cells called
much louder than the transfer of sleek, pebbled skin
and stringy carpels onto dead, dry canvas. You abandoned
the project for the sear of summer heat on shimmering
waxy leaves, the cool darkness of shaded
tree bark grafted and re-grafted to shape the perfect
green-black stock, the pleasing bite bursting
pulpy and seeded over your lips—
sometimes a life is not meant to be still and set
aside for examining, pictured from afar. Sometimes
it must be consumed.