ode to my orange tree - taller than a mountain / by Dahlia Dandashi

my body is constantly treading hot, salt water,

unsure of what it thirsts for.

my feet always swallow me whole,

each step an earthquake compromising my orange sunrise.

how can i taste the sky if i'm so far away?

 

i'm asleep, 

yet i can always feel the sun crowding my eyes like flies in summer.

 

my heart is anchored to this boat, forever searching for my soul

spewing and crying out dry sand from its sides as the tide breathes in and out.

i cannot locate the balance between head and heart,

my insides a battleground for my inner chaos.

 

i float mazily, leaving pieces of myself behind, 

like my teeth on the park bench or my eyes on the pole of a street light.

i come to my mattress less of myself every day, my soul constantly peeling like an orange on to the pavements beneath me. 

 

people i knew are now strangers i brush up against as i walk,

seeds of my happiness buried deep within their pockets. 

birds peck at what's been left of my fruit, their beaks stubborn and implacable,

my remnants dissolving like a whisper in the back of their throats.

 

-

 

but maybe one day i'll make it back to my beach

and it'll all happen in slow motion--

 

i'll see myself covered in ivy,

my veins feeding the thick roots to a whole and proud orange tree.