Oranges

by Mary Oliver

Cut one, the lace of acid
rushes out, spills over your hands.
You lick them, manners don’t come into it.
Orange–the first word you have heard that day–

enters your mind. Everybody then
does what he or she wants–breakfast is casual.
Slices, quarters, halves, or the whole hand
holding an orange ball like the morning sun

on a day of soft wind and no clouds
which it so often is. “Oh, I always
want to live like this,
flying up out of the furrows of sleep,

fresh from water and its sheer excitement,
felled as though by a miracle
at this first sharp taste of the day!”
You’re shouting, but no one is surprised.

Here, there, everywhere on earth
thousands are rising and shouting with you–
even those who are utterly silent, absorbed–
their mouths filled with such sweetness.

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