In My Grandmother’s Hospital Room
The winter her citrus trees finally
fruited, we were not allowed to turn
them into juice. We could not consume
them properly that way. We had to taste
it all—the pith, the oils. I bit
the rind because she told me to.
She has always believed with suffering
comes peace, and the bitter skin
was just that for her: a cleansing.
It was the first time I ever noticed
the pores of an orange, how they feel
like worry on your tongue.