The Problem with California

An almond tree in the yard:
this is the only needed sign that you are
not where you should be.

The letters home to Orangeburg cannot describe pulling
the casings from trees,
+++++++ cracking open
the hulls of ships that hold scent
and omen.

The fog seeps through the clouds every morning
a reminder that you are not going to stay

that no one is,
eventually we will all
suffocate, crack,
+++++++ and drop off.

He was starving, you said, that’s why you switched
from breast to bottle.

There was never enough,
so you sucked a cigarette and pushed the carriage
and prayed for deliverance.

And yet

another baby.
That was me.

Almonds and lemons all year long,
any time you wanted,

such an incredible mess.



About the Poet:
Maggie Rosen lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. Most of her professional work has been as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages. Her chapbook, The Deliberate Speed of Ghosts, will be published in 2016 by Red Bird Chapbooks.



Photo by Fernando Espi.

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