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"Epigraph" by Toti O'Brien


orange me

before you obliterate me

spread scarlet tinged yellow

up from navel to sternum

dilute pigments in water

rain tears spit sea waves

or if you’re in the mood

aquavit, and be generous

orange me sanguine

like the fruit that first

made me laugh and weep

with its tanginess

fiery boldness

of dark entrails

orange me thin-skinned

in blood

then orange the greenery

of leaves in my nostrils

brown mud

under my nails

orange the grey of rocks

sky blue petrol ocean

and the salmon of flesh

lobster lips, orange me coral

then forget me, forget me

*First published in Pebble Poetry


Toti O’Brien is the Italian accordionist with the Irish last name. Born in Rome, living in Los Angeles, she is an artist, musician and dancer. She is also the author of Other Maidens (BlazeVOX, 2020), and An Alphabet of Birds (Moonrise Press, 2020).

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