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.