“Moldy Clementines” & “Morning Routine” by Urvi Kumbhat

Painting of a pink circle, outline of a hand in blue, lightning bolts, and tears by Laura Larson

Moldy Clementines

We scowl. The audacity of time. To turn our sharp, tough
skins to rot. Ours— we bought them only four days ago.
We separate them on the counter; green fuzz wrapping
rings like streaks of possession, desperate orange peeking
through in plea. So many enter the compost. We sniff and
turn each ruined sphere, desperate for something to save.

Morning Routine

after Tiana Clark
I medicine the sun,
swallow with water. I slump
the blanket, stuff my head
in the pillow case. The tree

looks at me looking away
at you. You worry my love.
You worry, my love. I rot
the flowers. My neighbor

offers fresh bouquets, but I
avoid him. All day the dishes,
all day picking up strewn petals.
I kill my aloe vera.

Silly me— thinking I could
keep anything alive
but myself. I piece. I scatter.
Fall sideways; coat pocket full

of crumbs. Will I love you forever?
What could be more terrifying?
I sleet and slush all the answers,
hold my head up to the light.

Light hems and haws.
Me too, light, me too.
I still the last day’s reminders,
scarf down the pastry I’ve been

saving from ma’s house. I house all
my secret doubt. I secret myself
away, just close enough
                 to everything else.

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Urvi Kumbhat has published work in The Margins, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Vayavya, Protean Magazine, and Apogee. She grew up in Calcutta. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @curvi_k.

Laura Larson is a musician and artist in Minneapolis, MN. She plays in the bands Scrunchies and Kitten Forever. You can find her at @badrecital.