the city in august is no place for anybody

the oranges you brought home came from Israel

and they sit- squat round universes aflame in

light from the flickering kitchen blubs, sweet acid

scent small against the incoming city, windows

propped hopeful for the memory of a breeze-

the streets tell time in shadow, all the hours of steel

forecast above the melting cement as august drowns

the children playing down below. the oranges wait

on the scarred table your mother gave us when we

moved from the comfortable lawns, open grassy spaces

and lacy delicate patterns of light through flush

green leaves

no more- we have the whole of nature now imported from

a troubled myth, and we eat oranges for three days until

they are gone, rind trapped beneath fingernails and when

i pull my hands down your bare back, sweating against

the small ripple of air trawled lazy by the half-broken fan,

you wince; the citric sting against broken skin, the sudden

overwhelming taste of bitter fruit.