my grandmother
peeled oranges
in the evening
and called my name.

she did not speak
to anyone else
she was far too
sullen and bitter
for them.

to me she was
as sweet as
sticky oranges
after school
and a lemon yellow
oil pastel sun.

her nails were blunt
she dug into the fruit
her hands shook
her glasses missing
but she saw me
enough to say.

i love you.
have a slice.
i love you.
have another.

it has been years
since you passed
i have still not found
fruit as sweet
as that
squished orange
from the bottom
of your bag.

still i peel and search
and dig my fingers
and squish oranges
and slice
and hand them out.

today you do not
know why
i love limes and
citrus so much
or why my hair
smells so good
(it is the smell of
summer oranges
it is the smell of
childish comfort).

we lay in bed
and i swear
i can taste citrus
on your tongue
(it tastes like
home and love).

i love you
have a slice
i love you
have another.

Featured image: Bibhash ( Banerjee / Unsplash