“Lemon Bake” & “On the Q Train Towards Stillwell” by Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez

Illustration of a hand holding a lemon

Lemon Bake

You   scrub   salt   on  my   wounds 
porous   &   fleshy   freshly  peeled 
lemon    grated    to     silky     little 
playthings  I  am  a  cast  iron  lady 
numb  to  acidity   &   blood   Over 
molted   citrus   scones   I  tell  you 
maybe   one   day   I will    become        
a writer & drown my seeds  to  sow

I pay for my sins in cold hard  cash 
&  this  month’s   utility   debt  I’m 
hardened  by  low   light  stares   & 
firm   handshakes  You  make    me 
nervous sometimes     when     your 
image  is  hazy  in  my    dislocated 
dissociation I make   out              your  
eyes piercing     blue 	 surrounded 

by glass  pebbles   &   naked shores 
I’m  living  in  my  head  Can I  ask 
have   you   considered a  lobotomy 
for  two  My  fingertips    are  burns 
seeking    refuge    in   your  hollow    
lips   Rind   remnants     stick   from 
tongue    in    cheek      You   fucking 
proudly        hate my   	                 jokes

On the Q Train Towards Stillwell

Strangers are drowning
in pages and sounds, choking

on others’ misery, gasping
preoccupy me. I’ve sketched the crux

of fear, gashing
new wounds. Tonight’s fester is grief

of losing myself, staring
into underground glass, are those my eyes

and why— what would happen
if I scratched them

out— would my fingernails
withstand? I’m wading, watching

a brunette boy in the diagonal
seat pulling out Kafka. I have never read

Metamorphosis, but I’m heaving
in temporal decline, nostalgic for golden age.

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Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez is a Latina poet residing in New York City. She works in narrative strategy at a social impact agency, and as Social Media & Membership Manager for Brooklyn Poets. Her work has been published in Fahmidan Journal, Wilderness House Literary Review, and the Tufts Observer. Paula tweets @paulagilordonez. Find more of her writing at www.paulagilordonezgomez.com.

Hannah Cranna is a baker, aviculturist, and apothecary artist, living again in Connecticut.