Over the Transom

A wedge of lime and one of lemon
in her drink—is it allowed? Scorn
for the drunk who smashes
into her—is it allowed? Reading
poetry by candlelight in First
Avenue before the main act takes
the stage—is it allowed? A woman
crunches on something in a plastic bag—the sound
of almost breaking teeth, is it
allowed? She’s on edge—with or without
permission—even as the sun opens
wide a written-off day. Your ghost
keeps showing up uninvited.

Lemon in Her Water

A reminder to taste
life. A gritty pressure
she climbs the old freight

house stairs—fair trade
and organic maybe, these coffee beans
he roasts are not grown locally

in some Minnesota backyard. A transplant,
she will never be as sustainable

as those local boys
she’s chased into bars, ditches,
haystacks, church

basements, the mouth
of the Mississippi. She’s a trickle
trying to cut a figure

worth restoring. Lime
was her father’s choice.