A Compliment under Porch Light

by Aaron Deutsch

I watched you suck a halved lemon to the rind.
Citrus spilled around your lips in swampy summer,
the seed curled under your chin in a river of juice–
like driftwood along the Mississippi–
into your cupped hand, and all I could think of
in that swatch of summer night, was how that seed
looked like Polaris, the yellow star you pointed to
when I went slack-jawed at the way you ate lemons,
and your eyelashes shook like wind on rushes.
We’d all been beneath that porch light before
when moths surrounded us like falling lights.
We’d seen the old smokestacks and bailed hay
slope like kneeling mountains, though never
did we think to call them beautiful before you did.

Aaron Deutsch is a recent graduate of the Texas State University-San Marcos MFA program, where he was awarded his degree with distinction. He currently teaches Freshmen Composition at Texas State University, and writes whenever he can. His work has appeared in The Smoking Poet and is forthcoming in The Nine Online. He has served as a poetry editor for Crab Orchard Review, Front Porch, and Grassroots. He has no pets.

Back to Issue Ten: Winter 2011