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A Crush in the Cruelest Month

Graham Lea

It's not easy coming back from the dead
each year to lilac’s febrile pull, a wild

push of styptic plum & dogwood’s blood-plashed
petals—a press to mull: blemish, passion;

the language shoves, our shoulders put to: door,
cellar door, cellar door
—can you hear it?

The most beautiful sounds mysterious
fidelity to our ears, we linger:

in linguals, to dentals, what gutturals
tunnel this radix of time & place: that radish

or wool, turniped but heaving the blue, roots
singing their long, twisted song the way it goes

Lea Graham

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