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I could have listened to her read a phone book,
numbers and letters formed in her mouth
as if a hibiscus could trumpet each name
like they were enumerated perfectly
between summer incantations.

She was welcoming in that way giving
notes to nomenclature, scores to monotony.
Senile alligators gathered around the perimeter of
broken wood slats to hear her melody
beneath Christmas lights she’d strung over a garden. 

The soil’s whispered Shibboleth to hydrangeas
offered a sequined backdrop as she
twirled under the night’s canopy.
The shirt I wore that night soaked in smoke,
still sings of iridescence and firelight.

—Tyler Grant