July Orchards by Sulakshana Guha

Orange trees, bare wreathed
In July’s afternoon heat.

Too late I have come, gone are the fruit
Bulging, vermillion at first sight, now in bags of jute

Their cool juice will spill down throats
And the orchard shall swell with more,

But I, I shall miss the harvest again,
And my bags, junk laden, will entrain the same.

The dead oranges roll out in hundreds,
Spreading their sharp scent, sticky numbness

For years I have haunted myself,
Squeezing until I pop, until ravens swoop downstairs

Little by little, like orange vein-threads I go
Only to be reborn as another woman, a bone shin and elbow

My hair unwinds in July,
And so fresco-like the evening cracks.

Underneath the colours, the lime is bone-white
An amalgamation of light, and I a vessel for others.


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