Blood Orange as Study

I’ve let the blood orange you gave me
wither with longing. Its blueing
hue sends a strange ash around
the desk where I keep it—a reminder
I suppose, of winter’s frozen needling,
the warmth of our bed, the promise
of a spring that would surely come.
I am not sentimental enough to
keep an orange as an emblem
of desire. No. White-fleshed
and bitter, I’m fascinated by
its pith, that string that hangs
the meat, white cord that tethers
the segment to the spine,
the way the body, in repose, is held
together by muscles and tendons,
by an armature of bone. No.
I’m not maudlin enough to
remember you by the laden fruit
you plucked. It’s simply an experiment
in forgetting: will the blood run
through the blue, through the cage?

Elisa Karbin is the author of the forthcoming chapbook, Snare, and her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, West Branch, Notre Dame Review and Blackbird, amongst others. She is a PhD candidate in poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she also teaches. Visit her online at