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NaPoWriMo'23 Day Six: Orange

Orange sunset sky by Samantha Couste

Song of sapphic orange juice by Aadrit Banerjee

citrus blues

on soft carpels,

a tapestry of fibres

weaved on them,

lemon smell


memories of a

hundred winter tales

of grandmothers

sewing, and shelling


and afternoons

of tangy flavored-


peeled skin

scattered over

green grass,

so red inside,

winter sunlight

playing on

nude bodies

tangled over


and half-eaten

oranges over


tomb, shaped

like smiles of

female hysteria,

hidden under


dupattas, and

salt patches

on wounds.

Almost unholy to touch by Medha Arora

something about oranges lately

nestled tight in crates

sun-bright from a distance

almost unholy to touch

to peel, to pluck wedges,

the act of

stripping white threads,

an infraction

coaxing me with its

subtle supple sweet scent

gracefully incensed by the

colour it gave to fire

even with its winter light

my hands give in

singed with sourness

scraped rind under my fingernails

making a bad habit out of an aftertaste

soothing a thirst

seeded in my mind

squeezed slices


dripping down my elbows

my tongue a citrus mesh

of not holding back sin

lately something about oranges

makes me savor the pulp

I used to strain from its juice

sun-bright even from up close.

A hurricane rushed to a goldfish's bowl by Shailja Bahety

Saffron soaked in rosewater;

Your mother pierces the skin of an

orange to steal its star-like seeds.

Turmeric blended in hot curry;

She is pious and godly and makes every

star-holed orange drop on your plate.

Sugar sprinkled on papaya slices;

She is an accountant of your fate-

misery debit, goodness credit.

Halloween pumpkin, a foreign asset;

You don't often sell her a glance

because your mother is a local chemist

shop, you go to, only in need.

Carrots crushed between rabbit's teeth;

Silence sits like a third person at the

dining table and every time she tries

to talk, your hand glued to the remote

changes the channel.

Old marigolds, a fiery scent;

Something is wrong with her health.

A hurricane rushed to a goldfish's bowl;

Your home is running out of oranges,

your books of accounts are messed up

and your chemist shop is shutting


Traffic light stuck between let go or stop;

Her heart needs a pause, so she

desires a pilgrimage and instead

becomes a prayer that never returns.

Cheetos abandoned you like childhood;

Her memory covers your soul like moss

because orange tulips deny growing

around sad rocks.

Maaza bottled up your regrets;

You want to break the peach sky and

bring her back because nothing feels

harder on the heart than the mere

thought of living in a world with

someone's absence.

Jupiter peels a citrus fruit for the sun;

Feeding a dead soul an orange with a

a star-like hole is as impossible as

drawing an orange around her star in

the sky.

Your orange popsicle collapsed on the road;

Ambulances are tired, nothing can

reverse now.

I've always been sour by Anjana Venugopal

I discreetly remember

One of my old lovers

Wearing a perfume that made me want to love,

So I spent a multitude of my mornings

Basking in what I remember to be

The smell of freshly squeezed oranges

Head to the chest, heart to the brain

Love to indifference

Fitting existence into a Rubik's cube.

Just so, it could be

Solvable, probable, definite

Flu seasons always began with the sting of calpol

Of bitter tongues singed with too-hot porridge

Mother would be peeling oranges

Singing a non-vocal lullaby ( I hoped)

For a child as inspired as I,

Oranges were a mystery box.

Unwrap to find - sweet, sour, rotten

The fruit was a consolation that

The peeling is over.

More often than not, I've been loved

Like an orange being peeled.

With haste, catching a quick bite between bus rides.

With poise, taking out the piths with tender fingers,

Feeding a lover's lips, a dream.

With hurt, comforting feverish foreheads

With citrusy sweet sections.

No wonder I've always been sour.

I laugh.

The orange is naked.

There are no answers that make sense.

This is an incomplete poem.

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