Darn You Jasmine

By Simrita Dhir

jasmine grows in my yard
its white flowers twinkling in the air
i smell it in the evening to catch a whiff

of long-ago girlhood that sits twined around a jasmine vine
in the left-behind land where mynahs sang
this is not night jasmine claudio reminds me

for the nth time
yes yes of course I tell myself
this one is another variety of jasmine and not

the night jasmine — sweet wild intoxicating
night jasmine and mynahs take on mythic dimensions in my mind
like I never knew them but I did in the left-behind land just as

I did koels kachnaar blooms gulmohar petals
and a wide-eyed younger me
darn you jasmine why do you evoke

past sights smells sounds memories
make me crave gawky teenage with its
callow foolishness and uncertainty

god knows it takes a lot to get where i have —
a breathless flight over 2 colossal oceans
sweat toil tears rebirth resurrection

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