Blood Orange, Mandrake Root
The year she vanished & did not take me
with her, I ate to spite my mother only skins
of fruit. Forsaking sweetness, syrup, sins
of flesh & pulp, I gnawed soft kiwi pelts,
sinew tough mango hides. Verdant husks
& garnet rinds left lesions on my tongue.
The bitter citrus stung me senseless, blistered
my fingers. Fever sore, I soothed my sour blooming
body with charred hands between my knees.
Mouth white with pith, with reaping I tilled
clitoral copse, remade her. Burnt sugar pollen.
Nightshade sap. Relapsing back into my life,
brittle as September, she, the thorn-crowned,
nettling, asked me what I had grown into.
by Amber Rambharose
Amber Rambharose is a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati and an Assistant Editor at YesYes Books. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Thrush Poetry Journal, The Adroit Journal, Jersey Devil Press, and Weave Magazine, among others.