Dame's Rocket

Jesse Nathan

Rising straight as canes

around the older farms, the hairy leaves

little arms, the seed for jays,

the fragrance a marriage

of lilac and rose.

They say it came with the early whites

before escaping,

as ornaments may,

the farmyards and gardens

for what’s left of the prairie,

congregating sometimes in ditches,

or among century hedgerows,

outliving towns

called Empire and Cicero.

Jesse Nathan is the author of Eggtooth, forthcoming in September. His poems have appeared in The New York Review of Books and The Paris Review.
Originally published:
May 17, 2023


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