by Nina Pelaez

Gold everywhere —
the rye's winged stalks
weighed ripe.
Feather-crowned, flightless.

Hair thick as dusk.
The cats chasing
the apples at her feet,
licking her ankles
with dust-sweet tongues.

Her laughter, softest,
close to thunder —
quaking the branches
full of fruit.

Nina Pelaez was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. For the past four years she has been living and studying in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, but is looking forward to moving back to New York this summer. When she isn't writing poetry or studying art history, Nina especially loves to spend her time cooking, gardening, and making books. She has what she would like to think is a healthy addiction to thrift stores and has, without even realizing it, become an ardent collector of antique apothecary bottles.

When asked of what poem the word "cherry" immediately made her think, Nina replied as follows: "In Linda Pastan's poem 'The Vanity of Names' she writes of the cherry: 'Even the animal graves out back / will forget who planted the bones / and whether the flowering cherry was a sign / of mourning or renewal.'"

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