Magnolias

"Magnòlia a Verbania" by Josep Renalias Lohen11 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
“Magnòlia a Verbania” by Josep Renalias Lohen11 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

The heady, sweaty fragrance
in the air
could be magnolias
if I didn’t know
there are no magnolias here.

But there –
where Grandma
makes jambalaya and donburi,
singing old Japanese
nursery rhymes;
where Grandpa
mows grass and picks pears,
muttering Cajun curses
at the Texan heat –
there magnolias drown the air
with wild whiteness
and sweet-scented sex.

Wide, waxy petals drip from
tall, straining trees like
overripe fruit:
Eve’s forbidden apple,
Persephone’s pomegranate.

And I want to
pluck them from the ground,
place them in a bowl,
on Grandma’s table,
on Grandpa’s desk.

But I am here,
where waves of grass are
far more common.
So I will have to wait,
and the magnolias will fall
without me.


Signed,
Silent Sister

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