Rosalie Moffett | Two Poems

MEAN ORANGE

No matter how you rotate it

the room stays upside down 

in the grapefruit spoon. 

We can't be flipped 

so easily, Spoon. 

Small is the room

for error—though that’s the kind of night 

it is: the wrong kind

of math for this kind of poem. The right glove

fits the left hand if you flip it over. Not so,

the grapefruit spoon whose handle 

handles a orange section poorly. Poor, too, the bell

curve which can neither peal nor peel—

Can we or can’t we

say what we mean? 

That we’re mean, that mean

means almost average, unexceptional, that we’ve hidden 

right there, in what we say,

our saddest secrets. Though, not orange,

 no—that’s pure, perfect, a name 

that fits its owner like a glove, announces

secretless, its truest self!

Recall, friend, that orange is the light wave

repelled; what you eat

is all the other colors.


TENSE

This is always 

what they leave out

when they teach you the rules 

of time and language: memory 

is an absurd present 

tense. Perpetual: you shield your eyes 

and I run your chainsaw through driftwood

which sparks, opens, reveals 

a rock. Trees, like people, 

swallow incredible things. i.e. Time 

heals all wounds, or Discard nothing

and you won’t be discarded. It’s true, 

you will be forever

collecting things 

to say, to hold 

you down.