"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker

The Lemons


Forget the sun and the dizzy moths.
Forget the pieces of mockingbird that the cats have left by the side gate.
Forget the hose running under the honeysuckle:
the lemons are offering us holiness again.
They are making us go down on our knees to smell them.
They are making us think of our old loves, to grieve over them.
They are singing every little song, they are conjuring every temptation.
They have been having sex with the oranges and tangerines, the yard
is rife with their pollens, they are sweeter than they even know.
They speak together.  They are amazing me with their navels and nipples.
How they flaunt themselves on the spider-veined limbs all pained with thorn.
They are trying to make me lazy, to turn me against my simple work—
they do not want to be plucked from their own dreaming.
They are telling us again how we are never able to decipher them.
How long now before we put up the aluminum ladder
and pull on the leather-palmed gloves?  How long with the shape
and heft of lemon voluptuous in my hand?  How long
with the summer in its steep track, and the low cars cruising
out on the avenues, and the drone of the small airplanes
like bees over the far houses?

Frank X. Gaspar