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