Ada Limón
It Begins with the Trees

Two full cypress trees in the clearing

intertwine in a way that almost makes


them seem like one. Until at a certain angle

from the blue blow-up pool I bought


this summer to save my life, I see it

is not one tree, but two, and they are


kissing. They are kissing so tenderly

it feels rude to watch, one hand


on the other’s shoulder, another

in the other’s branches, like hair.


When did kissing become so

dangerous? Or was it always so?


That illicit kiss in the bathroom

of the Four-Faced Liar, a bar


named after a clock, what was her

name? Or the first one with you


on the corner of Metropolitan

Avenue, before you came home


with me forever. I watch those green

trees now and it feels libidinous.


I want them to go on kissing, without

fear. I want to watch them and not


feel so abandoned by hands. Come

home. Everything is begging you.



Found In Volume 49, No. 06
Read Issue
  • e ada limon 4
Ada Limón
About the Author

Ada Limón, a Guggenheim fellow, is the author of five poetry collections, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her fourth book, Bright Dead Things, was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.