Rotten Lemons

I bought 7 lemons on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the skin of 1 
was all but green,
and the dust of the mold
had begun to spread to 2 more.

The mold spores smoldered
like ashes
and spread
like smoke.

I bought 7 lemons on Sunday.
By Wednesday only 4 remained.

This poem is about those times you can’t make lemons into lemonade,
or lemon water
or even lemon zested chicken.

This poem is about the times the lemons you’ve gotten
are rotten from the start.

Though it may go undetected at first,
unseen immediately, before long, by Wednesday,
the spores have spread,
and it may be too late to do 
anything but —

Throw the whole bag away.
Throw the whole man away.
Throw the whole system out.

Gut the garden and rip out the rotten roots,
or, continue to produce rotten fruits.

I bought 7 lemons on Sunday.
By Wednesday, only 4 remain.


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