Ashley Crout, Blood Oranges

Blood Oranges

This must be the tougher skin you mention,
the one that covers this thick fruit,
reddened as the sun farthest west
before it sinks,

a head full of breath held under
the waterline to its eyes.
Their sticky white membranes
like drained veins

clutching a nest of blood
in their netting.
The juice runs like a cut –
its bright lines down my neck,

its limp muscle in my hand
the size of a heart,
chamber by chamber,
stilled and taken.

Ashley Crout was born in Charleston, SC, and graduated from Bard College and the MFA program at Hunter College. She is the recipient of a poetry grant from The Astraea Foundation and has received awards from The Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Foundation. Her work has been published in Sojourner and the Saint Katherine Review, among others. After eleven years in New York City, she returned to the South where she lives with her hellhound, Hud.

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