just as I am about to go home I get an e-mail telling me to buy lemons on the way

make sure they’re soft, but firm, juicy not runny

as dusk slowly descends on my clutterred desk, dust motes fox-trot to rest on my cold cases I knew I had bought lemons for many years no matter where they’re from, they leak as if they were Syrian oil, syndicate like viruses all over the world even when I stir spice into the mixture, infuse search strategies faster than a soap-opera script writer, and even though many perps are dumber than cucumbers, they become fennels, before I’ve reached the tender part. I cannot go further for becoming exposed.

evening thickens as I pass alleys of old crime scenes to reach the grocer’s, where failed heroes daily struggle to make loose ends fasten on to something which will not leave them hanging, where love might be just around the bend where all those clichés might just become profound lines them up like animals at a trough, while they place various foodstuffs on a trail to their lonely cells.

I spot lemons, various sizes have become pyramids, ancient mounds and lumpy foothills under old fluorescent lights I know why she wants them; leftovers from other combinations must not be wasted; these are her answer I choose one or two from each land formation, without testing

after all, they are lemons their trees are older than the valleys which have grown them I’ve just begun to pick

© Diane Stevenson Schmolka .

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