Christina Cook: "Elegant Wreckage"




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.