Ashton Kamburoff

HOW TO EAT A LEMON

STEP ONE:

The sky is palming the sun. Your palm cradles this yellow fruit above our blue sink where the knife sleeps, useless. Use kindness. A small tear is enough to break through skin, to make juice rise up past the place of repentance. Remember: There’s beauty in the way your cuticles work when no one is watching.

STEP TWO:

Leave the sugar hidden somewhere quiet. The smallest spoonful will ease the pucker, the squint, the face-tightening honesty that means the world is less zest, more a seed to be swallowed whole. Tilt back your head. I won’t tell you to wait. I won’t say that

STEP THREE:

ends with your tongue outstretched, your hands clasped above you, citrus-slick. Explain slowly how “sour” sounds like “sorrow” with the center cut out. I know. I brought you here. I’ve pulled pulp from my teeth to show you.


Ashton Kamburoff currently serves as the 2017-2018 L.D. and LaVerne Harrell-Clark House Writer in Residence and he holds an MFA from Texas State University. His work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Rust + Moth, Proximity, Calamity, and The Naugatuck River Review where his poem “Revising the Hexes” was selected by Kaveh Akbar as a finalist for the 2017 Narrative Poetry Prize. He is the poetry editor for Profane Journal and the poetry co-editor for Opossum.




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