Peeling Oranges – New Poem (Rough First Draft)

Peeling Oranges

Before you peeled an orange,

you’d roll it on the counter,

using the heel of your palm

to start, then rolling it so it went

along the length of your fingers.


The smell would stay around

for days. I’d kiss your fingers.

It would drive me over the top wild.

You said the smell was calming.  


I fucking miss all of that.


You’d take your time to peel,

treating it like a ritual. You could

spend an hour or two, if you really wanted,

pulling back all the pith until

each segment was just right.


I found one of your contact lenses.

It was dry and snapped between my fingers.


You were so pissed when you lost it.

You didn’t like to leave the house

with your glasses on, even though

you struggled to read the bus timetable.


I miss your freak outs, I miss kissing

you carefully on the shoulder so

I wouldn’t smudge your makeup.


I miss our connectivity, and the frequency

with which you would bite your lower lip

when your head was thick with concentration.


I miss your perfect growl in bed.


I’m fucking heartsick.


One of your friends is coming round

to collect your foundation. I’m supposed

to leave the key under the doormat.


The demolition of my spirit has already

started, and it all feels a bit fucking ridiculous.

Just come back.


There aren’t enough stars in the sky now

and I’m struggling to turn the page to

something else. I haven’t bought oranges

since you left, and the smell makes me teary.


I wasn’t ready for this sudden silence.

For dust to gather so quickly on the coffee table.