In the mountains where I used to live, 
once I went to the market to buy oranges, 
and a woman vendor told me the sweetest 
varieties come from groves
whose roots reach back 
centuries in the soil. 

She said the original tree was cut down 
in heaven. It fell to earth and sank through
horizon after horizon. 

Topsoil is exposed to the greatest 
degree of weathering.
Silt, sand, wild grass, particles of clay. 
Cake layer of humus: nitrogen rich
from the decomposition of plants and animals.

We never see how deep 
a geology. 
How each burnished slice
in our mouths is a key to that
first treasure.

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