Oranges For Adorno

Sue Sinclair’s most recent book of poems is Breaker from Brick Books. Sue is also...


Natural beauty shares the weakness of every promise
with that promise’s extinguishability.
–Theodor Adorno

Large-pored, swaddled in pith, they swell
in the Andalusian heat. Each tree has promised itself
right up from the ground, branches full of dying suns,
fallen soldiers. Purveyors of false hope—
as though, having let go the branch, one could yet
hang from it, uneaten. But wasps chew at the rinds,
determined that no fruit will go unforaged,
so the longed-for apotheosis
comes to naught—unless we count the lives of insects
as our own, which we may do, bound together as we are.
To say it otherwise: what if Time were indeed a god?
And if all who live have their part
in its immortality, wearing its groove deeper
with their passing, each scarred and bitten communicant?
Pick the orange, scour the rind, eat and feel its sugars
spike your bloodstream: its fate both fulfilled and open-ended,
a promise carried forward in you, ever-incarnate.


A Berlin Diary: Amsterdam
Galleries, drugs, and the occasional jab. Sholem escapes Berlin for the alien streets of Amsterdam.