Their Every Yellow Leaf

By Sarah Sarai

Jacinth looks at the pig and 
asks what she did in another lifetime 
to be so beautiful. 
Maybe not everyone would see it
but she’s perfect. 
I am not everyone. I agree. 
Alice is perfect, 
a hippopotamus made compact. 
I stroke her dark hide and feed her 
fruit cup from breakfast. 
Cauliflower and a toasted bagel.
Plum jam. 
With the pig, Jacinth and 
I break bread. 
Jacob, who is new to this poem, 
buries his cigarette in a late-fall lawn
to take a call from Quebec.
In bright sunlight Alice considers 
eternally recycling life. Is my guess.
Jacinth has no interest in me or Jacob
and praises only the pig, who is complete. 
Is her guess. The heart gets lonely 
some days. Is Jacob’s guess.
Feeding Alice renders longing and irritation 
irrelevant, without obliterating either.
Aspens snap their every yellow leaf. 
The trees expected we’d be gone by now. 
Their every yellow leaves don’t guess. 

Sarah Sarai’s poems, stories, and flash appear in Big City Lit, Okay Donkey, MacQueen’s Quinterly, The Southampton Review, and many other journals. Her collections include That Strapless Bra in Heaven (Kelsay Books), Geographies of Soul and Taffeta (Indolent Books), and The Future Is Happy (BlazeVOX[books]). Sarai holds an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and works as an independent editor in New York City.

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