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Jonathan Minton
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Still-Life with Orange and Bowl
A breakfast of oranges and coffee: first the vaguely bitter taste of bark,
then the sharp moisture of pulp. Or is it the texture of pulp?
Never mind the curtains filtering sunlight the color of orange peels.

Each is a matter of distance: as bowl to window, the difference
between place and placement, an orange seed in its tissue, else
discarded with the trash. I am eating oranges, the Buddha said,

in order to eat oranges. This is taken as evidence of place
and therefore related to presence. Thus in summer, the sky
is within walls, if taken as evidence. I’m speaking of fallen fruit

outside the kitchen window, of blue jays returning from their trees
in evidence of summer sky. They come and go, as sound out of song,
or they never arrive at all. Their line of sight withstands at first glance

the desire for summer sky, then shifts between evidence of sky
and the weekly dispersion of curbside garbage. Said in its place,
the narrative passes in error, a blur of wings that never arrive,

their gestures still gaining weight. One must move, for example,
with or without benefit of place, as when speaking of the contours
in orange and grange, or the related space around an oval bowl

still locked in its glass case. I am. I am eating. Eating oranges.
So the story goes, a key that turns and won’t fit:
the still-life empties into the range between enamel and mouth.

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