Sonnet as Testament to the Orange Tree


This is how our history begins: an orange tree folded into
pasture, sunrise sifting through its leaves—
a soft spill onto the ground, and light finally reaches the hole
where Baba lives. Every spring a full bowl, a rabbit run,
and a cluster of pale bodies grows sticky and saccharine.
Every spring throats crimping into warm pockets,
gathering blessings behind worldview. Orange
as holy beads. Orange as prayer answer. When the branches
finally knot together, hand-in-hand, Baba makes
a pair of palms out of his back. To sift under the light is to grow
tender, stomached down by hunger and heat.
Sometimes, Baba is a wet mound among the grasses,
in a quick second swallowed by the hills— except
he doesn’t scream, like a lapping bird swept into water.


Sophia Zhao is from Newark, Delaware. Her paintings and poetry appear in The Adroit Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Minnesota Review, and elsewhere. She currently studies at Yale University.

Beth Horton holds a degree in creative arts therapy and majored in health science at Niagara University, located near Buffalo, New York. Beth began working with monochrome imagery in her late teens, but her love for art began as a small child, watching her father paint into the wee hours of the morning. On weekends, she ventures out into the world around her to document the shape of her space in black and white.