POEM: under a bigleaf magnolia

Magnolia macrophylla leaves

under a bigleaf magnolia

I can’t identify most trees by name
but I can remember exactly
where we were standing
the first time you kissed me

afterward a friend told me
it was a bigleaf magnolia
a primitive tree, she said
one of the first with flowers

a tree with leaves so big
they sometimes break
their own branches
I know how the magnolia feels

standing in its shade
I thought my heart might leap
through my ribcage
dissolving when it touched the air

and I imagined you opening
your own chest / reaching in
to remove a piece of your heart
so you could share everything with me

1 May 2013
Auburn AL

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