by Anna Geisler

The spruces are ill and their needles are falling.
They are bleached like straw, they are spilling at the feet
of the trees. In a downtown hotel room in Marrakech
I remember us sitting on a white bed by a window
looking over a pool. You had said, If only we could be
in the desert, I’d show you roses strong as
disease, brown as rust.
 Back then, I hadn’t yet caught
your love of grieving. Now years later I’m out under a nettle-
laced sky tearing through the mulch
beside you. Whole days and nights. My hands
doing only rough work and that’s the softest thing
I can think of.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 3