In the days after we break up,
I become obsessed with the
idea of planting a lemon tree.
I have been cautioned by all of
my plant-loving friends, one of
whom is an actual botanist:
Your balcony will not get enough sun.
You will get leaves, but likely no fruit.
I purchase a Meyer lemon tree.
The internet informs me they’ve been known
to fruit year-round. In winter, I do as told,
and move the tree inside, lifting my
blinds and draping the leaves in sun.
My friend the botanist comes to visit.
He examines my tree, says: You did not
pick a plant meant for beginners.
Could you not have started with a fern?
And I think of you, wine bottles
multiplying under your bed
like jewel toned dust bunnies,
an alcoholic from a family of angry
veterans and famous Republicans.
Still, I could not have chosen any
other way. Without you now,
I seek my fingers into the soil
like ten sightless, searching worms.
Dirt accumulates beneath my
pearled nails. I close my eyes and
inhale, urging the scent of lemon to
waft from, perhaps, an unseen bud.
Every morning, I peer between
the waxy green leaves for signs
of fruit. Every morning: None.
Robin Kinzer is a poet, though she has worked primarily in the mental health field. Her work often deals with illness, loss, love, and longing. She is an MFA student at University of Baltimore’s program in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts. Robin has poems recently published, or forthcoming, in Little Patuxent Review, Wrongdoing Magazine, Sepia Quarterly, Fifth Wheel Press, The Bitchin' Kitsch, Gutslut, and Beyond Queer Words.
You can find Robin Kinzer on Twitter at: @RobinAKinzer