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A quarterly international literary journal

Rose



By Nicole Tiao


/ Poetry /

I don’t understand why the sun keeps dipping

below the horizon, spinning


the sky into pinks and oranges and reds I used to dream

I’d live


here in Los Angeles

where the roses smell like summer in January


I want to smother my body in roses

to smell like the rose soft serve from Xinjiekou


that I savored on a crowded sidewalk surrounded

by honking cars & exhaling buses & a babble


I prayed to understand — oh,

that soft serve tasted like heaven,


& I’ve chased it ever since.

Why am I thinking about that soft serve?


You’re about to start chemo.

You insist you’re not dying.


I’m afraid you are.

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