What a Lemon Teaches
Lemons. I like them. Light, and green,
Gardener's green, golfball shapes.
In summer, some days, I sip them
Tenderly through, take their insides
Into my idle, my ice-numb mouth,
Their meat amusing, making my face
Fall to the floor, or farther still,
My sugar saved, for sucking, or for horses.
Lemons. I lick them, like the bitter
Biting of their borders, whose breath suggests
A jumping, aging juxtapositions, folded
Fists, fire's phlegm as it lingers.
Limón. Mamá, ¡qué amarga la limonada!
Another name names me.
My mother's mother, mamá, speaks
Her special sounds, secret in my ear:
I hear bees, ease my way
Toward the woman, and wait for more.
I move my mouth, mimicking hers:
How heavy, how full
It feels, and afraid: of failing, of not
Having knelt enough, not like her legs.
Lemons. I live them, el limón,
The meat, my mother's mother's scream:
The sour skin--her sweat--for what
One winter wildly would be
A baby. A boy. Alberto. Albertito.
You take your time tonight, she says.
Be sad. Suffer. Shake in your bed.
Be brave in biting lemons.
Love to take a long, a long time.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow--remember
This moment, me; remember how
I hold your hand, and Hurt you, you
So young: allá, the yellow lemons,
Like them less. Love me.
Make me the marrow in your bones.
I bite. It's bitter. I break a skin
Of celebration, suck the seeds, and spit.
The Bloomsbury Review. Vol. 8, No. 4, July/August,