Montale’s Lemons by Ishion Hutchinson

Montale’s Lemons

My first snow, I open the pages of Montale, the scent of iron and light coming out of heads

of lemon trees in the middle of an orchard where raucous boys play, not hearing the eel-quiet laureate

who roams under a sky dappled with rust. He comes through the gate, plucks acanthus, unburdening himself of the city

and the classics left in his study. Standing still, his shadow moves to branches brushing earth,

freckling it with flame. Montale stoops in flecked leaves, to a flickering secret, and what could be translated

as winter fixes a spire in my chest and my eyes go low down with that crouching tower;

I cling to a still revolving truth: the world is a golden calyx, but home is a burst lemon,

a child weeping at the cane root.