Jay Deshpande
Sonnet written walking under the mess some magnolia made

Even with my nose up here at six foot something I know

The color brown is sweet: this putrescence

Embarrasses no one: the petals treacly vessels jangling

Overhead yesterday have taken a hint and gone down into

The real grit of things: where better than the sidewalk

To speak achingly: I could go on: I’d say love makes us

Amenable to certain minor probable disasters: but what

I mean by love is spring: overeager and almost enough

To make me wake up and like the insides of my mouth

A little more: the petals talking vivid now: they say

Finish your work and come back to us: we want to be

Nearest: we know which of our atoms were once in you: you

Who are a flower-machine: who are a blossom for meaning:

The scent of sweeter senders: the slobberiest part of the kiss:




Found In Volume 49, No. 03
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  • Deshpande
Jay Deshpande
About the Author

Jay Deshpande is the author of Love the Stranger (YesYes Books). His poems have appeared in New England Review, AGNI, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry, the Scotti Merrill Memorial Award, a Kundiman fellowship, and residencies at Civitella Ranieri, Saltonstall Arts Colony, and Vermont Studio Center. He has taught poetry at Stanford University, Columbia University's School of the Arts, and elsewhere.