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THERESA D. SMITH

 

 

 

Theresa D Smith

Theresa D. Smith received her M.F.A. in poetry from Purdue University, and her B.A. in creative writing from the University of Redlands. She is a former poetry editor of Sycamore Review. Her poems have appeared in Shenandoah, Crab Orchard Review, and Verse Daily, among others. Her piece "Poem" earned an award from the Academy of American Poets. She lives in Southern California where she is currently working on a collection of poems and a novel.

 

 


 

 

 

 

You died among oranges

for Kareem

 

I was jealous. Orange blossoms are hot and fragrant

in summer, even summer’s end. But then your cheek

 

to the ground. White flowers on sharp stones.

Maybe somewhere in the back of your head you noticed

 

how cold the moon looked in the hot grove. How else

to think about your murder? Check local archives

 

for points of entry, number of gunshot wounds? I can’t

even ask your girlfriend your birthday, because I was there

 

for the last one. When you kept flashing your grin

and offering more shots, more jokes. I didn’t know

 

I would need to remember what you were wearing.

And all things at night are black –

 

or silver or gray or white – like the stones

you found on the ground. Oranges burst

 

under your soles. Not blood oranges, just citrus rubbing

through your blood. But for you were only bodies striking

 

hot through dark, headlights, rough voices.

You fought hard. What to think? Oranges and stars

 

weren’t the only bullets in that dark. There were other voices

calling you: Hajnalka, waiting at home hours past the hour;

 

your mother, first voice and last, echoing through the trees—

these things did not happen as you died:

 

the peacocks did not begin to scream, their jewels on fire

and dragging in the dirt, and so the sky did not turn the odor

 

of burnt feathers. Ashes big as petals did not fall

from the stars. I didn’t look up from my book.

 

There were oranges under your knees

and earth. There was earth in your mouth.

 

 

©2015 Theresa D. Smith

 

 

 

Author Links

 

'Modus Operandi #6': poem by Theresa D. Smith in Ascent

'Threshold': Theresa D. Smith poem in Ascent

'Not a Ghazal': Theresa D. Smith poem in Ascent

'Queen of Spades': Theresa D. Smith poem in Verse Daily

 

 

 

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