Seventy Nine cents can buy a
silver can full of watery slices
of mandarin oranges, settled and sweet,
nestled in added sugar between cans
of peas and extra spaghetti sauce.
The pop of the seal with opener’s
pierce, twists a circumference of the cylinder
and frees a lid. Juice strained into
shiny steel sink, plop the segments into
a cream colored ceramic bowl.
Fork prods pale fruit veins
before a jab carries orange flesh on flatware
onto my anxious tongue,
eager to scarf my syrupy snack.
After so many years of knowing only
the taste of oranges from the can,
your lips were the fruit straight from
the cool, bumpy peel. The sugar not added
by mechanical measures, sweetness not
manufactured. Rather, from leaf’s work
turns sunshine and lung’s waste to
true flavor from the emerald branches.
The forbidden ruby orb holds no temptation
while orchards of orange exist,
every can will pale in comparison
to these two perfect segments,
alive on your face, ripe and untouched.