On Eating an Orange and Seeing God by Nolo Segundo

On Eating an Orange and Seeing God

I miss the big navels when they are not in season,
but almost any orange will do.

First, I feel how firm the orange is, rolling it in my hands,
the hands of an artist, the hands of a poet, and now the stiff
and cracked hands of an old man

then I slice it in half and look at its flesh, its brightness,
its moistness, its color—if the insides beckon,
urging my mouth to bite, I cut each half into half

and then slowly, carefully, as all rituals demand,
put one of the pieces between my longing lips,
and gradually, with a sort of grace, bite
into the flesh of the sacrificial fruit.

I feel the juice flow down my throat, recall the taste
of every orange I ever had, even in my childhood
with this little miracle of eating an orange.

As I finish absorbing its flesh, still slowly and gracefully
the last bit of what had been one of the myriad wonders
of the world, I look at the ragged pieces of orange peel
and I see poetry— or God— it’s really the same thing,
isn’t it?

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Nolo Segundo, pen name of L.J. Carber, is an old man who became a published poet in his 70s in fifty-eight literary magazines in six countries, and in the past two years, a trade publisher who released two book-length collections: The Enormity of Existence [2020] and Of Ether and Earth. In his 20s, he had a near-death experience while almost drowning in a Vermont river, which shattered his faith in atheistic materialism. For fifty years, he’s had more questions than answers.
Contact info: email: nolosegundo70@gmail.com / cell: 856-291-1695 [prefer text]

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