June 3, 2021

Joanne Diaz

LILACS

Longing for the ground,
hating their thin, powerless
limbs, they are not
what they want to be.
Buds first then rows
of unpetalled bone-white
pearls enclosed and clean,
how could they know
it would end in a pregnant lean
from left to right
as difficult, mortal blossoms?
No living thing asks for that kind
of beauty. But spring is
only as long as it takes a woman
to rinse her hair, a man
to rise with desire.
From my angled attic room,
I watch their dew-glistened
drift from branch to mulch.

from Rattle #15, Summer 2001

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Joanne Diaz: “I wrote ‘Lilacs’ during my stay at the Vermont Studio Center last summer.”

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