Where You Are

Like meyer lemons in December, you are
a tasty treat, tart-sweet. You are
 
leaning over our potted tree, its worn wine barrel, eyeballing
its potential; pouring compost & potting soil. You are
 
fluent in gardening—its language, its rituals. My idea of gardening: leafing
through Sunset magazine, sunflowers in cellophane. You are
 
twining Sweet Carolina up the trellis, trailing
sweet-citrus blossoms. Tabrizi rugs dry, sunning themselves. You’re
 
giddy, bone-tired. You tip your straw hat, your twine-
twisted hand shades your eyes. I ask are you
 
coming inside? The French doors open, wide. You linger, douse
our tree with more tenderness, more water, not certain you’re
 
ready to concede—to a grafting that doesn’t take, our heirloom
tomato, a wayward vine without a stake. Your
 
raised bed. Our
childless marriage. Your
 
volunteer love apple. I thumb its delicate skin, spritzing
my sun-pink chin; wondering what you’re
 
doing now, where you are.

Originally published in NELLE 1 (2018)