Riehlife Poem of the Day: Jennifer Perrine, “If Life Gives You Lemons, Make,” winner Taste Test Contest

Jennifer Perrine, of Des Moines, Iowa, won the Taste Test contest. Her poem “If Life Gives You Lemons, Make” was made into a limited-edition letterpress broadside by Virginia Artists for the Book. Every year there is a contest on a different theme that can be interpreted visually in a high quality book.

If Life Gives You Lemons, Make

your mouth into a trough, a spout
from which that sour sauce will pour,
pulp and spittle swimming down your
chin, eyes pinched shut, each acid thought

welling under the tongue. Thin slice
of pain wedged on the salty rim
of your face, let its tart grace skim
your glass neat: no sugar, no ice

to temper this bite, this slick burst
that cankers your lips. Life gives you
lemons: cut your teeth on their rinds,

tear them with gusto, slake your thirst
with their slavering, jaundiced juice,
swallow hard, leave no seeds behind.

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