August 29, 2016
In which a girl climbs an orange tree six times daily
to peer into its hidden darkness, hunched
up against itself like a peeled moon.
Hungrier than the inside of a locket, more sober—
how the bark, the branches liberate around it.
She remembers her mother, how the forest took her
as if she never existed. She watched the wind slipping
rudely inside her heart, rapt and aware.
Her mother used to draw fish on her tongue to ward off evil.
She told her once that the hands of the dead fold the prettiest.
The girl plucks her favorite orange and pins the beak of
the steel spoon on it to hammer the shape of a domino.
Because she smells of bird notes and lingering hills,
the people barely notice her. She takes out
a small patchwork brooch from her pocket
and places it on one of the branches of the tree.
She looks at the flowers pouring space
inside the grass,
how sad and brief
they are on the eyes just before they tether themselves to oversized moths.
Shinjini Bhattacharjee is a Pushcart nominated poet whose work has been published in Cimarron Review, DecomP, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Red Paint Hills Poetry and elsewhere.
The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.
—Cervantes, Don Quixote
© 2016 The Indianola Review