Blood Orange

My first marriage tasted like blood
orange – that first bite tart
on my tongue, slowly melting
to sweet near the back of my teeth.
The bright orange peel hiding
the crimson flesh inside – how you hid
your raging jealousy behind your
bright smile, kept it contained
till I loved that bloody
fruit too much to know how to live
without it. Eventually the taste dulled,
left an aftertaste in my mouth
I could finally escape. Eventually
the season ended, the fruit impossible
to find, your jealousy impossible
to ignore. I went to an orchard,
picked every variety of fruit
I could find, left the blood orange
trees untouched, never dug
my fingers into the thick rind again,
never had the sticky juices run
down my hands again, never swallowed
your bitter jealousy with a slice
of crimson fruit again.

Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press). She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning. Read her publications on her blog: Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.