Fresh Orange Juice

She thinks of you as she watches the man outside
the Kingsland church whose clothes
are as white as a Turkish scarf.

This morning there is mist, thick
over the city and to the Bombays, probably to
Turkey and you and the blue umbrellas
on the terraces and the geraniums like
flying kisses and fresh orange
juice for you — only ever fresh
orange juice because you never did
like the taste of coffee.

There is Turkish coffee on this menu.

But her eyes pass it by
for something Italian and a
muffin, and when the waiter brings her drink
she stirs it and the teaspoon burns
her tongue.

Across the road in Kingsland the man all
dressed in white — except for red
flecks that stand out like geraniums on his
coverall — pulls an empty pig from a van full
of trotters, slings it over his shoulder and walks
with it into the meat shop.

Chloe Gordon was born in Auckland in 1984 and now lives in Wellington, where she is taking Damien Wilkins’ short fiction course at Victoria University. Her first experience in a creative writing class was at Epsom Girls’ Grammar, Auckland. She won the junior section of the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition in 2000 and 2001, the first person to claim first prize in two consecutive years. An accomplished actor, she has appeared in the New Zealand television series Shortland Street and Mercy Peak.

Gordon recommends as a “good poetry quote (albeit not a New Zealand one) e.e. cummings’ remark: ‘If you like my poems, let them walk in the evening, a little behind you.’” Of “Fresh Orange Juice” she writes: “I dont know that there’s much I can say apart from that I wrote it when I was fifteen and still living in Auckland. (I read it at a school assembly once!) Kingsland is another emerging cafe strip. The Bombay hills are just south of Auckland.”

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