Marguerite S. Miller
March 2016


I want this to be a story of lemons,
me hitchhiking to see boy
lemons in the back
of this pickup truck wincing
like vixen-babies

my mother doesn’t know the thick
yellow bounce of lemon bodies
when the raven-nailed man
tongues       a pothole

the lemons’ flaxen tips
leaping like breasts
above the steel waves
of this truck     this danger—

his hand almost        in my lap


I want to know about dying

the tart pulp of the sky
clots over me,
his chewing tobacco,
red man silver
in the walls of my gums
as if our mouths had met

I want to sleep like a bear
or the golden-slow of sun raging down,
to be invisible in the nap of the woods

he sees me
tells me a name
that his papa was a prophet,

that I’m pretty


If my mother saw me now
she’d say nothing of the man I’ve picked
to bring me to the boy
but everything of the lemons            she’d say:

baby, soak your hair
in the juice of their bodies


I want to know what the earth knows—
she says: you will cry/you will bleed every time

I want her
to gather me from this truck
lay me down like the child I am
over the lemons


I could die here,
my body soft
under the acrid peels

or the earth could save me,
winch me from his cuticle
like she would a shoe or a can
from her deep lake

as the lemons slough off
the rust-scarred back of this pickup
like runaways or words


I want God as a red savina pepper
garnished with lemon,
flying         flying like a fish

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