by gm

Shaun Robinson


Well, when you try to seize it, the day
turns to sand. And the moment is too little
living space, a broom closet inscribed
on a grain of rice. You’ve searched
for it for thirty-two years, but it’s buried
somewhere deep in the sand
on the beach of all your wasted days.
The only time that exists is the summer
of 2013, a time so dope that Mayan
philosophers glimpsed it
in a collective dream and invented
both paradise and apocalypse.
And as for those lemons,
the ones life gave you once, from which
you’ve been trying to make lemonade
ever since—the summer of 2013
saunters into your kitchen and takes
them from your hands, slices them
into sixths, pulls a bottle of Patron
and a shaker of salt out of a pocket
in his coat. Ignores you
when you ask if he’s thinking of limes.
Out on the porch, between shots,
he tells you things you’ve always known,
how the past and the future are lovers
spooning in bed, and the present
is how they don’t quite fit together. For instance,
he says, take that moon, and then he does,
plucking it out of the sky like a man
picking a lemon from a tree.
It’s not a moon at all, it never was:
it’s the prettiest moment you’ve ever seen,
big as a beach ball, skin like a nectarine.
You could do anything in a moment
like that. You could skin yourself
with a broken bottle and step out new.
You could live to the age of eight-seven.
Could probably even die. And now the summer
of 2013 is lifting it over his head.
And now he’s bringing it down across the rail.
And now it splits open and the juice
trickles out, the unadulterated
juice of one hundred percent real time.
And now he’s filling his cupped palms,
and now he lifts them to your mouth
and whispers, Now that’s what I call lemonade.