David Hanlon: As Fickle as an Orange Is Orange

David Hanlon: As Fickle as an Orange Is Orange

As fickle as an orange is orange


You know, sometimes, when the world feels like it’s closing in on you and an orange seems

a deeper shade, turning burnt orange then red the longer you look at it, and the circular shape

of the fruit begins to stand out more, like a flashing red light, and the two-part signal of stop

and danger surrounds your mind like an unbeatable enemy army overthrowing a king’s castle.

And you think of the sheer mass of bloodshed, you think of how many times you’ve gone to

bed fighting just to awaken defeated: and how bloody a defeat it always is.


A blood orange is a real fruit. And then you think of the hands that may have held such a

product, how they must create a circled fist to hold it; you think of the bursting juices that

have run over and stained their palms, colour like the blood that courses through their own

veins, how when they take from another it always shows them, not what they are missing, but

their fear that they will never be whole.                    


And now you think of yourself as a piñata and wonder why, when even at your most

colourful, your tissue-paper coat of turquoise, yellow, red and orange, but not red-orange but

bright, zesty, citrusy-orange, why, when battered open, do you still give out the good stuff:

mouth-watering treats where there should be pools of blood? But you’ve never held a blood

orange, you’ve only been forced to taste it.


David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales, and currently living in Bristol, England. He has a BA in Film Studies & is training part-time as a counsellor/therapist. You can find his work online in or forthcoming with Calamus Journal, Occulum, Riggwelter Press, Dirty Paws Poetry Review, Into The Void, Impossible Archetype & The Rising Phoenix Review, among others.