Poem by Ariel Francisco (Dominican Republic/ Guatemala/ USA)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 46
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS
Sell them on the corner of 135th and Douglas
in green netted sacks for ten dollars a dozen,
hold them in each hand like heavy boleadoras.
Learn to hate the rain, the way it sends you
to cover under the bus stop like a grounded
child damned to his room, each drop a lost sale.
Learn to hate the green lights that urge
drivers to pass you by without a second glance.
Learn to hate even the thought of lemonade
as you sweat and sweat in the bowels of summer
under the relentless sun you’ve learned to hate
so well, the way it leans its tremendous weight
all day long into the back of your neck.
Ariel Francisco is a Dominican-Guatemalan-American poet born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in Florida. He is currently completing his MFA at Florida International University where he is also the assistant editor of Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. His poems have appeared in The Boiler Journal, Portland Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Washington Square, and elsewhere.
Image: "Sweat or rain?" by Kullez.