A Palace full of Oranges

Somewhere deep in the crystalline blue,

ten choice words and huddling into a netted blanket

have led me into lungfuls of grandeur,

locked away quietly in a tidy room,

only slightly unkempt to show signs of life —

a wrinkle here, a wandering shoe,

and eyes that never sleep,

until they are gnawing and gnashing in a restless dream.

And there I find a Palace full of Oranges,

in rolling waves of gold and sunset hues,

nestled in their opulent casings,

sweet and textured to the touch,

adorned by succulent grapes that seem to burst at a breath.

The tall walls whisper sacred vows in secret,

their meanings changing as they echo through the vast halls,

whisping and weaving as they dance along the bannisters —

in waltzes and jives,

set to the timing of one-two-threes,

and an air of privileged apathy,

eaten by those in their royal seats,

who toss and turn in their new emperor clothes,

tugging, tugging at their silken sleeves.

As the Great Ball descends on the evening’s first words,

there are quiet agreements,

written in cautious glass looks and brief, high-thread-count brushes,

as aristocrats dance with a wild and wanton abandon,

until the first creeping light,

brings a dutiful call to dress in fresh cotton,

and stretch for a hazy memory,

to talk to the birds,

to waver the rights to royalty,

in a garden of compost and brightly coloured orange peels.

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