Ponderosa Lemon

Ange Mlinko

Seems it should be hard to sleep tonight
with the wattage of that lemon in my head;
I imagine its poundage sinking a stem
and startle, stippled by the same tread

as stipples the aromatic peel.
How will its cargo be borne across the sea?
The way marble is borne,
maintaining a tactful asperity.

Our mutt follows me round the garden.
His nose is an extrusion of his brain.
Cleopatra's nose—had it been shorter
the face of the world would be changed.

In human dreams, there are no jokes,
no one quotes Pascal, or Thomas Browne
who did aver that even in Cleopatra's bed
strewn with petals, sinking down,

a dream "can hardly with any delight
raise up the ghost of a Rose."
So there is no real pleasure in sleep,
where "the five ports" of our senses close.

You are not a marble man,
but I have heard that on the sea,
sound waves may bend on an ellipse
creating a whispering gallery.

Those voices out of time:
those are the gods, that wrote the script
for your return on the lemon wind
and butcher paper from Egypt.


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