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June 10, 2019 Poetry

Ballad of the Red Wisteria

Jessica Q. Stark

Ballad of the Red Wisteria photo


Because of its hardiness and tendency to escape cultivation, these non-native wisterias are considered invasive species in many parts of the United States, especially the Southeast, due to their ability to overtake and choke out other native plant species.

Is red        love                          with a knack
for breaking code            first memories:
sure, first                     memories of home
include a                        pick-pocket
or two,                    a stolen newspaper
route                           coupon drawers and
ketchup                             packets: but that’s survival, baby
she sed                   like slick,
neapolitan                  ice sticks in summer
like                          cool rockets                red
white and                  blue   there is no antidote for
mixed                 blood     there is no domicile
for                      the invasive species     why
the fuck                          would I garden        sed mama 
in a mood               looking like John Wayne as 
best you                      can after last night’s 
over-the-                      fence with the white 
neighbors                  about pool
parties                             & sensor lights (again), heard
a word                          stick like sweat, all pink-mouth 
rounded O                     shot out like dandelions
sprouting                 in the yard, like they
were there                    the whole time  saw
mama                    furl inside like a thorn, sliding
the door on                  things you don’t mention
again, like               don’t worry we’ll steal their fucking
nectarines               I mean the good ones, trời ơi con,
she sed                           it doesn’t mean anything

 

image: Dorothy Chan


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