Mulling Spices

Cloves conjure up the fires
of winter, the smell
of oranges in thick skins.
The peels lie stacked
like bricks
from our crumbling
Cigarette smoke circles
our heads, an offering.
Ashes to ashes
to ashes.
Remove your shoes.
Pitch your wine glass
on my hearth.
The meat of winter
oranges is sweeter
than spring fruit, sweeter
than summer love. Old
oak logs simmer
on the grate. Aging
quickens their burn.
We are like old sneakers —
comfortable, well worn,
our soles run down.
When we kiss, clove
is the taste we remember.
Our tongues cling
to the oranges of winter,
savor the pulp
from the bottom
of the glass.


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