Farmers heft and truckers load crates of lemons onto flatbeds at first light.
The skillet trees stream past,
silhouettes of yellow fruit and shadowed green
like something aquatic. Here I go,
sucked under, again. I love what won’t belong to me
and so sit tight, fingering the wound,
the open sinew, sticky gem pot
in the lap of the matter.
At any moment, my heart a bowl of pabulum,
stirred or eaten. Flimsy houses whiz by
the flanks of my eyes, jimmied
plank to dust
by the cranks of decline.
I drive while reason takes a hike.
Let me spin, I say.
Let me crumble in your hands,
my raw materials, my soil
ganged up on. You
and your gorgeous worms
that won’t stop working on it.

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MICHELLE BITTING’s latest collection is The Couple Who Fell to Earth (C & R Press, 2016), named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016. She has poems forthcoming or published in The American Poetry Review, AJP, Prairie Schooner, Narrative, Diode, The New York Times, Vinyl Poetry, Plume, the Paris-American, Fjords, Tupelo Quarterly and others. Poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. Her book Good Friday Kiss won the DeNovo First Book Award and Notes to the Beloved won the Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award and also earned a starred review from Kirkus. She has won awards from Glimmer Train and the Beyond Baroque Foundation and been a finalist for the Poet's & Writer's Magazine California Exchange, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Julia Peterkin, and Rita Dove poetry awards. Poems have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes, and most recently, The Pablo Neruda, American Literary Review and Tupelo Quarterly Poetry contests.

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