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Oil from the rind sticks, bitter
on your fingertips, tacky reminder
you worked that yellow fruit
down to broken pulp,

a circular rendering
deep into the core,
a slow hard squeeze,

every drop of life
pressed from its ragged pulp.

Lemon for codfish,
lemon for your pekoe black,
plural for your iced–ade
after you pour in

more sugar than the drip deserves.
To make the sweet sweet,
make the heaven heaven.

Then quite by accident
you lick the acrid tips,
discover new contortions
of lip and face, soured
reminder not everything is
as it seems.


Rose M. Smith’s work has appeared in The Examined Life, pluck!, Naugatuck River Review, Snapdragon, Minola Review, Dying Dahlia Review, Main Street Rag and other journals and anthologies. She is author of four chapbooks, most recently Holes in My Teeth (Kattywompus Press, 2016). Rose is a Senior Editor with Pudding Magazine, and has served for several years as a contest judge and student coach for Ohio Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud program. Rose is an IT requirements analyst by day and a graduate Cave Canem fellow.

© 2018, Rose M. Smith

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