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Magnolia

By
Frozen fruit kisses are not enough to console you,
chest heaving like a tarp tent
in high winds, the chandelier of veins in your forehead
showing like a ghostly blue jungle gym.
The aftermath of tears, an arc
of dilute red paint beneath your bottom lashes,
brings out the small patch of topaz
skimming a narrow pupil.

You are so sheltered;
your eyes are acorns, ubiquitous as child’s laughter,
deep brown & rusty green.
Less than an hour ago, you smiled, spring-green buds
from an early oak weaving through your hair.
We grazed sunset-soaked concrete as the dogwoods
created a white-blossomed wind (which is what
I’d call heaven, if heaven were a rain of petals), last light hitting earth
& ricocheting back into their branches –
& there is no other reason:
because you are free.

With you, the shapes of reality are most clear, bubble-like;
they are long-limbed arms & champagne skin.
My favorite time of day is a circlet
about your head. On the hammock you hovered
close to the ground, a little cloud.

But you are not a little cloud, not cloudlike
in the least; thin as a flower stem, pollen & leaves,
but not a flower. Dazed fingers moving
like in a dream, like through water, to touch
your mother’s shoulder – you are more an incarnation
of sky & sea, of the soil & of trees.

Now, smacking your lips intermittently, you sleep
like you have drowned, tsunami of hair twisted
about your neck & forehead.
There is a long tunnel in your eye
reaching back like an arm, like train tracks.





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