On Lemons

For B.C.

Winter, 2013–2014 / No. 31

If only I hadn’t seen the baby bonobo

with the cleft palate. If only the little leg

braces didn’t stick out from under the little

boy’s too-short short pants. If the mute girl

with a mop of curls had sung

“Barrett’s Privateers,” and the paraplegic had

danced down the hallway. If only we

were communicating. If only you

loved me and our bodies weren’t

so ugly and I hadn’t noticed

your naked totter toward the bathroom

late at night. I would have seen

what’s left—white bowl, three lemons.

Sandy Pool is a writer, editor, and creative writing instructor. Her latest book, Undark: An Oratorio, was short-listed for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Last updated winter, 2013–2014.