The Night Before We Open the Restaurant for Brunch, Derek Asks Can I Grab Your Ass? to Which I Respond No And Leaves Us With This Sunday Morning Aftermath

Image © Ambika Thompson 2016


by Gina Keplinger December 9, 2016


I slice lemons
oranges & limes
to garnish our mimosas,
our Sunday morning margaritas
The last sliver of citrus
slides just out of reach
& I am forced to ask
Derek to fetch more fruit
three times before
he finally cocks his head –
the movement, slow –
the turning of leaves
in October orchards
your voice is a grove
of spoiled lemons
No man wants
to swallow the things
you have to say
When my smile falls,
it bruises like
any piece of good fruit
I have more in common
with the lime than the man
My voice is green,
young & unpracticed
In the quiet that grows
between the fruit trees
of our bodies,
the cutting board clucks,
You are too much woman
& not enough citrus
Nothing about you
is sour enough
to stand up for itself



Gina Keplinger is a teaching artist currently employed with the Nebraska Writers Collective and works closely with the youth poetry program Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains. She is the assistant director of the Young Writers Camp in Lincoln, Nebraska. She is a nationally competitive slam poet and has participated in both the National Poetry Slam (NPS) and the Collegiate Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). As an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Gina studies English, Psychology, and Communications. Her work has been published in Black Heart Magazine and Laurus Magazine. When she is not in class, you can find Gina brewing coffee and thinking about Mark Ruffalo’s smile.

Ambika Thompson is a writer, musician, a parent and the fiction editor of Leopardskin & Limes. She’s contributed her own short stories to Fanzine, Missing Slate, Plenitude, Litro and Okey-Pankey. But what she really wants is to one day win the Nobel Peace Prize for being a stand-up comedian. She also plays cello and drums and sings with the poetry editor, Jane, in the riot grrl band Razor Cunts.


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