by Alexis Rhone Fancher
You called it the ‘Winter of the Oranges,’ that February into March when our love was new, and the downtown Farmer’s Market sold thin-skinned navel oranges for cheap. You’d grab our reusable bags and head for 5th St, sampling each farmer’s juicy segments before bringing home a ten pound sack. I’d never tasted such consistent sweetness - orange to orange, sack to sack, week to week - like nature had conspired to make every orange equal. Bursting they were - skin too thin to peel with fingers - they needed a sharp knife to slice them smartly into quarters or peel them whole, rind a single, perfect spiral, a three-way between peel, pith and fruit. That winter you squeezed the juice into goblets, overflowing. You poured your love into me. But Spring came. The knife bled. Something stupid I said. You, and the oranges turned bitter overnight.
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"Thin-Skinned" was first published in Vox Populi, 2017, and also in KYSO Flash, 2018, where is was nominated for Best Small Fictions, 2018.
Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in The Best American Poetry 2016, Verse Daily, Plume,
Rattle, Literary Mama, Diode, Pirene’s Fountain, Tinderbox, Nashville Review, and elsewhere.
She’s the author of four poetry collections; How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and
other heart stab poems, (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here, (2017),
and Junkie Wife, (2018). A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.