Mint

by Ashia Ajani (Voices Editor)

Mint

Grandma played me her garden song

In the shallow heat of spring

 

She beat her palms against the soil

Kissed the scrapes on my knees

Jewels of sweat lined her bosom

As she hacked up weeds

 

Licked her peeling lips like sugar cane

Softened her gaze to calm the flowers

 

There were whole continents dropping off her hands

Breathing in mint leaves and parsley

Ballads of San Juan and Mississippi, West Africa

Settling in the grass

 

There is nothing ill-omened about lilac

Or false-hearted about rosehips

Nothing serious about germanium

Everything has its place in a garden

 

She sat in the cool shade, mint leaves bowing

Her back creaking slowly

Like slaves ships on salted ocean

She’s found ways to harvest her own skin

 

Ripe like bananas

Quick and deliberate