Blood Oranges

An alarm goes off each time

a woman thinks of sex, I read

in a supermarket tabloid.

Small alarm, early warning.


Coca Cola can be tried

as a contraceptive. Bottles

fizz open, sexual parts

douched till they’re sticky.


Then babies arrive

dressed in fuzzy onesies

snapped shut over crotches.

What a great kid, I say,


my arms full of groceries—

red-pepper hummus, blood

oranges. What does it mean,

exactly, thinking of sex?


Do Altoid candies enhance

the pleasures of oral sex?

Or should I buy chewing gum,

soft, sweet, pink, ample?


I stand in line to pay for

my beautiful lunch, dark flesh

of oranges, wintergreen mints,

big chunks of strawberry gum.

Barbara Daniels’ book Rose Fever: Poems was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks Black Sails, Quinn & Marie, and Moon Kitchen by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, WomenArts, Mid-American Review, The Literary Review, and many other journals. She received three Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.