Still Life with Orange and Salt
on the photograph by Wolfgang Tillmans
by Adam H. Tessier
Upended on the desk, a box
of souvenirs releases
strands of beads. Shards
of glass rolled smoke-
soft with the insistence of tides
scatter, the filigree of a scallopís
gold lining falls unbroken
to the edge and comes to rest, whole.
Sand shakes loose. The air
at Nauset rises thick
in Poughkeepsie, the smell
of clams frying, the patch
of seaweed where we sat
on a musty blanket stained with brine
and ate peeled citrus fruits
from a crumpled bag.
From the kitchen Iíve brought salt
balled like a fist,
an orange skinned in offering
to those summer afternoons.
Finger each surface, touch
your lips, nostrils: here is the flavor
of memory, here is the scent.
Copyright © 2008 by Adam H. Tessier.