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Veronica Patterson

The Orange in the Open

On a day without flags or false bottoms
we were headed out to dinner when we saw 
on the tar of the parking lot
an orange where it had come to rest
or risen from the vena cava of our longing.
Neither crushed nor venerable, it was round
and good. No grommet in its side declared
it a faker or trap. Was it there
to colonize a world safe for 
citrus or to lead rolling expeditions
to trip us into fruition? Irrationally
we saw ourselves joining the Irish Free State
or heading for Odessa on behalf of this tiny sun.
Brighter than iron rust, more
fragrant than hibiscus, quietly it
began to order our hearts'
hierarchy. At the top was the heart's own
expansion, chamber by chamber, room by admitting
room. After that, a concentric ripple
effect came over the Riviera
of our conduct. O we were wildly
civilized by this dimpled Buddha. After dinner,
it was still there, its shadow grown long
as a path. We marvelled stoutly and set off
to do surprising good.

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