Growing up I got too many kisses and too many
I love yous and down the line I guess I forgot what the point was.
Mom wore cardigans and taught me how to seem interested in what people are
telling me, even if it is boring. Dad had his own armchair.
My parents wanted Christmas greeting cards and the Brady Bunch. Instead,
they got me, citrus juice spilling from my lips and down my chin.
They couldn’t taste the lemon grove I’d been growing
under my tongue since I learned to speak.
I grew up wanting to be the blue Power Ranger and said “fuck off” too much.
You saw the grove the first day we met,
flashed a light under my tongue and said, “oh yeah,
I used to have some of those, but shit, you have way more.”
You bought me a Pepsi, you said, “sugar helps,” and now
your hands trace my skin and write equations and names,
mazes on my back. Along the way I started to
spit out the seeds. They litter my floor,
I step on them barefoot but I do not swear.
Sometimes I can feel that tree growing back, but you uproot me every time.
I drink too much coffee because I miss being bitter.
I bite back and it is not easy when life gives you lemons
but you make hard lemonade and that fixes things.