Alessandra Lynch

Magnolia

A wedding broke out in the magnolia—
          fever of white gloves, distressed wind.

The bells hung upside down. They’d choked
          on their own tongues.
Hung too, on unspeaking terms

with the air, I acknowledged the impasse—
          I wore a dress of paralysis.

Then all her little white dresses lifted as one—
          as though on signal—a four year old

                    girl tilting up her own dress
                              in the living room, opening up
                    like an umbrella to her mother’s

                    lover, her face, god I can’t even
                              imagine it, sweet and cold,
                    methodical, desperate, trying

                    to woo him—.

                              Maybe I don’t want

a voice at all. All this mouthing in the magnolia—
          thin cries—too delicate to tend. I think

of a sea and its glistening foams and cascades
          hundreds of miles off and its whales’ limbic
thudding through water,

          their intelligent eyes bright with salt.

Rushed wind . . .
          White rushing petals . . .
                              the ransacked air.

Alessandra Lynch is the author of Sails the Wind Left Behind and It was a terrible cloud at twilight. She lives near an Indianapolisian canal and teaches in Butler University’s MFA program.

(Read Callie Siskel’s introduction to this poem in out Contributors’ Marginalia blog series)