It started like this: during my first visit

the doctor ordered a test and told me there’s not enough

iron in my blood. It’s hereditary, mom said

before packing her supplement in my suitcase —

she’ll buy another one when there’s money.

It started with: lack. Now, every morning I juice

oranges on my desk, cutting board propped 

between French books because she said

vitamin C helps with absorption. Someday, I want to

give her the most expensive of oranges, peeled,

no pith. I want to say pith when she’s crying, her laugh

a wet chuckle I can always replay.