I only have mouth ulcers when
I want to eat oranges.
Even now, as I write this poem I want
To eat oranges.
My friend once wrote a poem
About oranges; the bitter peel of the fruit,
Some memory of her father:
The ash taste, the ash flesh.
Today I met a girl who was not
Sad, or bad, or mad,
She was just
While wearing a funny hat
While speaking with a funny mouth.
At the park we tried to talk
I climbed the jacaranda tree.
In my awkwardness, she seemed to think
I was going to jump.
But I did not
I took my mouth ulcers home
Where I mostly pretend to be English.
At home I watch an English television show,
I eat the thick, white bread,
I only drink teas with milk.
In the next room, my beleaguered father
Falls asleep. He is growing old.
But when I was young, he told me a story
About a boy and a tree full of orange blossoms.
I no longer remember it now, but then,
It made me cry.
Yes, I’ll explain this Catalan Christmas tradition every year
The Tió de Nadal is a pre-Christian tradition that basically consists on a log that poops presents for children on Christmas. The log has a face drawn, wears a barretina (the traditional Catalan hat), and is covered by a blanket so that he doesn’t get cold.
We place him in a visible place, such as the living room (if it’s close to a fireplace better), at the beginning of December, and children leave food (usually fruit peels, nuts…) to feed him.
Then, on Christmas Day (or, for some families, Christmas Eve), children hit him with long sticks while singing a song that asks him to give them presents. At the end of the song, the blanket is removed, and it reveals all the presents that were hidden under it, representing that he “pooped” them.
And it doesn’t seem weird to us until we have to explain it to a foreigner.
it’s midnight. december.
the room is lit dimly and warmly,
and i am curled up on your stomach.
we are hungry, so we fetch sweet clementines from the fridge and peel them in bed. you smell like citrus.
we have competitions to see who can take the whole peel intact from the fruit.
the loser feeds the winner.
we smile. everything is okay in this moment, i realize, because i am no longer afraid of my sexuality, sex and expression of it, because we fit so well together here
feeding each other sweet clementines.
baze is the sort of person who, when peeling fruit, makes it a point of pride to always get the entire skin off in one long spiral. (chirrut, meanwhile, does his best to distract baze, to get him to laugh, to see if he can get baze to break it halfway through)
when peeling your fruit, remove as much of the pith (the white fleshy stuff inside) as possible. wash the the pieces of peel (you don’t want dirt or anything else to get into your spell right?), then leave them out to dry somewhere they’ll be undisturbed. i leave mine about one day on one side, then flip them over so I know both sides will be completely dried out.
once they’re dry, you can break them into small pieces or grind them as fine as you want. grinding them may take a while so I would suggest doing that in advance of when you’ll need them.
I use lemon and lime for purification and banishing, orange for happiness and positivity, and tangerine for a potency boost to whatever i’m doing. feel free to use your own correspondences, of course!
Hold everything very carefully unless it is your lover’s back. Then, become metal, become teeth, do not gentle yourself for any man. Do not change for the ones who think that
you should be softer, less mouth, less voice. You do not owe regrowth to anyone but yourself. When they begin to ask for you to shape yourself around them, leave. Shut the door firmly. Do not look back.
Azra Tabassum, from MY MOTHER’S LESSONS ON PEELING FRUIT AND KEEPING LOVERS
we make love with white wine lips and sunburnt shoulders, the window open to feel the wind from the sea. we peel fruit in our underwear, melon juice drips on the white sheets. argan oil, his morning espresso, my wet hair hangs on my back.