Orangerie

Sometimes I think I must have ground to a halt on this lot for the sake of the orange tree alone. I might have preferred the olive — rolled on a bias — but it requires labor, refinement, salt. Oranges are easy: sweetness sewn       inside a roughly perfect handhold.   Fruit in different stages of production muscles the bough into a bow, the bow into a lyre, plucked string lengths sounding a golden mean. They long to dispense their light into bushels, these overburdened arms; as they grow higher,       they find my roof, on which they lean,   and then the spheres go reeling like billiards down gutters angled like a kinetics sculpture- cum-candy dispenser. Think how pretty! Think if you were a house, contemplating yards, wouldn’t you choose one with a culture       of citrus, the least complicated beauty,   to run aground on? That is, if houses, like arks, sailed from firmament to foundation. This tree is a juggler drawing out his long game.  Inspired, I swap my bow for sternness. It is serious, this groundless elation.       C’est mon bijou, mon or, mon âme, my name.

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