You say you miss bringing sweet things to me
from the grocery store,
where you worked long hours
carrying fruit in your apron pockets, often
the cold-hardy Satsuma, weight of small mandarins
bouncing at your groin while you walked the aisles.
You’d drive the long, pine-bordered road home at night
that always surprised us with its darkness.
Tired and careless, you’d forget the citrus for days. By the time
you remembered, the oranges had taken to mold, small worlds
shunned under grey-blue powder. I still have not mailed off
your things: boxes of books, gloves, and health insurance forms. I pitch
objects I’m most attached to: the fraying belt you tightened
at your hips, those sockets I loved to press my thumbs into
and watch you writhe. Some things I burn immediately: sheets,
towels, silhouettes of your henleys in the give-away pile
that once opened the pale V of your chest. When I went back
to the apartment for the first time after you left, among your dust
and articles, a rotting Satsuma in a blue ceramic bowl.
I held it in my hand. I threw it into the forest.


Annie Pittman Biography 

May-June 2016 Issue, BOAAT