In Baghdad – by Mary Buchinger


She rolls the lemon in her palm.
So light, she thinks. She closes her eyes,
imagines the sacs inside
emptying beneath the sun,
the edges of each clear purse moving
toward each other as they dry –

Do you want to buy? he asks.
Its fragrance dissolving in air
or is it hers? That clean astringent scent—
lemony Abir, Beloved Abir, by the window,
a bowl of fresh tabbouleh, parsley chopped,
linger of onion cut with mint.
He asks again, Do you want to buy?

A yellow-drop sun
wipes clean the desert,
the day.





Mary Buchinger is the author of two collections of poetry: Aerialist (2015) and Roomful of Sparrows (2008). She holds a doctorate in applied linguistics and is is President of the New England Poetry Club and Professor of English and Communication Studies at MCPHS University in Boston. Her work has appeared in AGNI, Gargoyle, Nimrod, PANK, Salamander, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere.