Lemons

Since finishing your fruit-themed chapbook
you claim to have squeezed every sour
word yet zing. You say all you wanted
was to keep in contact. Tonight we try
to unpeel these last lost months
with talking but instead halve
ourselves dry at the table. I thought
our juice would stay fresh, purify
water all that time. At least, you said,
that would have made this easier to digest.

 

(originally published in Ink&Nebula, Spring 2018)

The Whole World or Nothing

You suggested whiskey sours
so we left the reading
to walk the golden streets in rain
during the first warm day

which felt like hope–
a riptide cascading
through the chaos of cars
and people on city streets.

Like you, gravel is full of scars
and we trample it under our soles
without thinking.
What do we pray to but the future,

its corpuscular horseshoe
on her way? We are swift
without wind, carving footsteps
in Bukowski’s tattered ambitions.

And when we finally reach the bar’s
back patio with sour piling into our mouths
you strip to your white dress
and show me your tattoos.

We wanted the whole world or nothing.
The sun, the moon, not one or the other.
The stars’ breaths on the nape
of your neck. Every word tingles

the first time celestial bodies meet.
I am cratered with my drink,
this treat and chilled escape.
The staircase leads downward.

 

(originally published in WISH Poetry Press)