A Tender Deciphering of Jacaranda

Karen An-hwei Lee

If desire foams over a sea-wall, this is non-negotiable —

                    let us cease quarrelling about whether jacaranda

ignites lavender perfume under a pilot’s skin

                    distilled of night blindness and vertigo,

whether you dreamed of a flight rotating counter-clockwise

                    on a runway, other side of the bay on fire —

of royal empress trees neither royal nor empress —

                    whether what we love will last our whole lives,

those fragrant, ornamental groves of water-loving blossoms,

                    or not what we love but rather, how —

whether we carelessly toss los cigarillos in gutters,

                    save our ash-petaled lungs, or dash to hills

seeking only what we know of tenderness in jacaranda heights, —


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