Strung skeletal off a peninsula, an archipelago 
pressed too close by the sea. 
When a gale brings up the water in gray lurching arcs 
and blows the whitecaps to a stiff spray, that last 
rock island is an almost impossible proposition. 
Small, drenched, beaten bare, and unable to sustain 
anything but its own brute silence against the weather, 
it remains pitched in the froth, a sudden lee shore 
on which our small craft go dashing. 
In a tiny room, the air close and pungent with curry, 
a woman at table peels oranges for her lover. 
She frees the fruit from the pith, separates 
the wedges and arranges them on a yellow saucer. 
The oranges, the saucer—they seem to float 
away, unguided, toward the center of a white Formica lake. 
Had they risen there, as if by some impudent will, 
she couldn’t have found them stranger, 
or stopped herself sooner. 
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