dig deeper

by Ashley Wu
Issue: Audeamus (Winter 2011)

a spread of sun-spackled shadow, one hand against
the earth, the smell of orange blossoms brought your voice
back to me: what was it you said? the blur of
day upon day and
week upon week, discrete particles of time
in decay. I am rooted here, a richness of
the earth in my hands; crumbling
words and remembrances return the white
petals, verdant leaves to soil—in a year, can you imagine
the wedded birds come home to a fruitless tree?

a last orange lies half-whole by the tree, its broken peel still
flashing like a monarch wing; was it your mouth that
left the arch of indentations, revealing pale pith
and sweet flesh? too rotten, too far
gone for me to take a bite too, to taste what you have
tasted and see if you have carelessly left your voice
behind. above, the first bees come to feed as I
straighten, take my hand from
the soil and circle that orange, its once-pregnant curve beckoning—

I send you back to the earth, back to the sleeping
soul of the world, where
your words
come to rest.