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Virginia Hamilton Adair Collection

  • Poetry



Peeling an Orange

Between you and a bowl of oranges I lie nude
Reading The World's Illusion through my tears.
You reach across me hungry for global fruit,
Your bare arm hard, furry and warm on my belly.
Your fingers pry the skin of a navel orange
Releasing tiny explosions of spicy oil.
You place peeled disks of gold in a bizarre pattern
On my white body. Rearranging, you bend and bite
The disks to release further their eager scent.
I say "Stop, you're tickling," my eyes still on the page.
Aromas of groves arise. Through green leaves
Glow the lofty snows. Through red lips
Your white teeth close on a translucent segment.
Your face over my face eclipses The World's Illusion.
Pulp and juice pass into my mouth from your mouth.
We laugh against each other's lips. I hold my book
Behind your head, still reading, still weeping a little.
You say "Read on, I'm just an illusion," rolling
Over upon me soothingly, gently moving,
Smiling greenly through long lashes. And soon
I say "Don't stop. Don't disillusion me."
Snows melt. The mountain silvers into many a stream.
The oranges are golden worlds in a dark dream.

Virginia Hamilton Adair

For a larger image, click on the pages.

Peeling an Orange draft 1
Peeling an Orange draft 2

Venice Beach

You, Aphrodite in ebony, seven feet tall
going by on roller blades, boom box blaring,
the Pacific Ocean beyond its acres of sand
is small beside you.

Prouder than Nubian queens,
Cleopatra, or all the wives of Solomon,
you swoop like the mythic bird
that bore away Sinbad.

You are the stuff of the new world,
emerging from its racist and intemperate history,
with song, dance, and laughter.
Do not be paranoid

about Great-Grandma's bondage;
white grandmas, too, were slaves to this and that,
morals and manners that never hampered you,
traveling tall to an arrogant drumbeat,

dwarfing the breakers in your personal waves
of sound and speed, speed and sound,
one with the wind and a world waiting
for your roller blades and a black sunrise.

Virginia Hamilton Adair

Venice Beach draft 1
Venice Beach draft 2