/brenna womer

a liberation

a lime that is ripe
and left unpicked belongs to
the one who picks it

and when nobody picks the limes
from the alley tree of the ruined
house on tulip, i take them for myself;
ripeheavy, dim citrus breaks
the back of its elastic grace;
it begs

a palmetto bug
is a cockroach when it is
crawling in your bed

soft-white light through a window
at the rear, exposed bulb and pull string
above café curtains; either one person
or twelve live inside, and maybe once
a baby; pink highchair dirty plastic fisher
price on the porch, i make a bowl of my shirt
the first time, yes, the first time

do not forget to
draw a map back to your source
of rampant yielding

across the street still on tulip
a splinter of a house with a sign out front
and no tenants just cicadas on the mailbox;
everything overgrown, but the tree
out front is fucking studded; it’s hung
as shit with pale pith, and maybe this
is how it feels to be rich: too much to pick
or, at least, too much to carry.

Brenna Womer is a prose writer, poet, and professor in flux. She’s the author of honeypot (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019) and two chapbooks, Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance (C&R Press, 2018) and cost of living (Finishing Line Press, 2022). Her work has appeared in North American Review, Indiana Review, DIAGRAM, The Pinch, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Shenandoah and a contributing editor for Story Magazine.