I slipped deftly into Botticelli’s Primavera one afternoon,
Begging the pardon of the Three Graces in white
As I wandered toward the orange grove.
The little cupid, bow at the ready,
Failed to notice the bent flowers beneath my feet
And my slow reach into the branches
Where I carefully felt for a perfect orange,
Tore the globe of skin from its stringy flesh,
And held the dimpled smoothness of the flayed world in my palm –
The shred of color,
The fragrance of gravity,
The naked hue of hunger.
Then, like my father before me,
I dug my teeth into the tender spot and, somehow,
I have spent the sudden years trying to dig myself back up.