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Citrus Season

By Lacey Buycks


Early April scorches my neck when I pick

valencias in our family’s grove, droplets of sweat

and orange juice running down my forearms.

Dozens of us stroll through the fields,

the air mellifluous with chatter.

I listen but say nothing,

my smile genuine as flattened orange peels.

A chimney sweep with an effulgent expression

refills the birdbath, keeps me on my heels.

Eros in overalls, his blue eyes pull me in,

and shine like limes in the sun as it crosses the sky,

freckles dusted across his skin. The trees hide our affair,

our flirtation, until the sun stays out past dark.

Everyone leaves and I ask, “Where to?”

as the chimney sweep puts his keys in his model T.


The speakeasy can be heard above the street,

alto sax titters in the air, calling for us to follow it.

Tequila is back for good and tonight I am a snifter.

He grabs me by my cap sleeve, pulls me off my stool

as the big band begins to race itself. I spin and flip,

the bottom of my dress fanning out like a circus tent.

Sweat gathers on his forehead, a part of me wants

to lick it. I forget about the long hours stripping trees

that lay ahead of me, right now this man is my future.

We dance on constellations until the wee hours of the

morning. His suspenders hang by his sides as we climb back

up to the street, the cold air leaving goosebumps on my arms.

He takes me home, holding my hand all the way, his hands

are rough from sweeping chimneys. He opens my door,

kisses me goodnight, my dreams smell like oranges and smoke.


About the author:

Lacey Buycks is a writer and poet. Some of her work, including Red Bristles and Citrus Season, has been featured in Erato Magazine's first issue, Bloom.

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