We used to lie in the dark, the trees heavy with oranges.
Out of our houses, through windows we would sneak.
The car had to be pushed down the road, stuck in neutral
waiting for the right moment to start. Do you remember
giggling and shushing each other, dancing in the shadows
made by the headlights. We thought we were in love.
She was the first girl who ever used the word love
in reference to me. I panicked, I pulled an orange
down from the nearest tree and threw it into the shadows.
She frowned and looked like she wanted to sneak
away. And you came around, do you remember,
and you said that's too bad, your tone so void, so neutral.
Emotions played across my own face, not one neutral
I know. I think I turned to you then and asked for your love
but I may have just imagined that. I don't remember
anything clearly except the deep scent of the oranges
in the night. But you kept close to me and we would sneak
kisses in between jokes and always only in the shadows.
She saw us then, whispering and laughing in shadow
and this time it was her voice that was kept neutral
as she called me a liar and you a whore both of us sneaks.
But we said it did not matter, not because we were in love
or anything like that. But because it was summer and oranges
were made not for avoiding, but for eating. Remember?
She left and took our friends with her, do you remember?
She left and we were there, in my car, in the shadows
in the desert, near the canal, deep in the groves. Orange
peels littered the ground and our hands were far from neutral
as we felt and fumbled and clumisly played at our love.
Later, I think, I laughed at us being called sneaks.
As if we were spies, educated and trained to be sneaks
instead of fools who thought oursleves clever. Remember?
It would not have been so bad had we had truly been in love,
I think but we did not learn. Our affairs last in others shadows
and now I no longer know how to keep my face neutral
when I grow melancholy for the acidic taste of an orange.
Now you speak of me and of love, and ask me again to sneak
through the orange grove and it seems you don't remember
promises we said in shadows: I do not love you, I am neutral.