Last night’s storm studded the lawn
with limbs of the star magnolia
and as the cusp of a last breath
rasps in and out of your lungs,
you watch me gather branches
to fill the Faience vase.
Their buds spill over its lip,
constellating a holy grail
in the minds of bees.
I help you through the threshold
of the door, where you stop
to survey the elegant wreckage
and in the low rattling breeze
your voice has become,
say you knew the magnolia
would never reach full bloom.
Christina Cook’s poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, most recently including The Dos Passos Review, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, Harpur Palate, Packingtown Review, and Cave Wall. Cook is a contributing editor for Inertia Magazine, and she teaches writing at Colby-Sawyer College.