The Philosophy of Citrus

Kathryn Schwartz

To the one she shared the citrus with but  

never peeled together


Nor sit beneath a humming willow and ask why it wept

or behold the phenomenon of fingers curling back the curls while they slept

and show them the tattoos

on the top right, middle (both sides), down to the bottom left


Nor pet praise the soft sweaters

only to shed them off

and giggle about her pronunciation of Knuffel Kont

beneath sun lit circus tent covers

or spill the orange juice side by side on a shared kitchen counter


Nor resuscitate a bike tire while the other watched

or took the time to address 

and unpaper all the cuts

or share the knowledge of the day, the clementines at the market for instance

but at no extra tuition cost


Nor fix the bowtie before the family debacle

or suggest the worthy wrong noun for the crossword puzzle

and bring the cough drops and salted water

when the day before the sky drizzled


Nor place a calla lily in their hand

and ask to describe the scent

or see them wink at the sun and know exactly what they meant

and wonder how NASA had been so terribly mistaken,

because there were never that many stars before they met, not even five

yet alone one hundred billion 


Nor debate the way the moon got its bruises

and ask her what it was she truly wanted:

if it was 

faster or slower?

the pandemonium or the silence?

the heavens of Pablo Neruda or the walls of Shakespeare’s sonnets?


Nor split the grapefruit in half to kiss it back to whole

or throw consideration out the window 

so they could let the ashes go up

and jump the gun to  

take the leap

and inquire about what it was across a neon green bicycle

and choose the honorable risk, 

even if it didn’t end in a we

Kathryn is a mediocre political science student studying at Smith College in Massachusetts. She thoroughly believes poetry and the power of citrus.