Cherry Blossom Birth | In Her Shadows

Cherry Blossom Birth

Emily Maiorano
I know I said she had dark hair
But I saw strawberry blonde
At least when the sun was highest 
At night 
in the inky mist of mountains 
It became curdled red 

Clots and clots 
“Like pink petals 
that melt when you touch them.”
She said.
What are those trees called again? 

We laugh at the ancestors’ 
small cups of knowledge 
They have Little Dipper vocabulary
With unbroken wisdom 
Like children
She said my blood didn’t have a fever like hers 

Mine was cold and foamy 
Full of salmon swimming downstream  
A blue heat warding off the magic hour 
But blue blood could never be used as a torch 

Some are good with numbers 
She was good with colors 
“Fall in love again.”
She said.

Your love is like the Japanese tree in the spring 
That only lasts a short time 
Then turns green like the others 
So you can’t recognize it 
for what it was anymore 
That scares you 

But don’t you remember 
when you trained your eye 
To look for the chalk marks in the branches 
To know it was still there
Which meant 
It would come back? 

Not every moon has to be painful 
Pink or blue 
I knew when the moon 
Made the sea swell up 
It must be a boy!
Although in starlight 
The water is black
So I should’ve known 

Pink or blue 
We waited for the color of the blood to tell us 
And it turned red 
You ask why no one picks the blossom 
Because when I did 
it lasted a moment 
Just as she had warned.

In Her Shadows

Priya Bhavikatti