The gardenias in the day garden demand your approval. They are beautiful in white and their scent travels through the grass with the sun slanting down like a wish. The garden parades them, glossy as pearls, all season and through summer before the wind lifts each bloom and each bloom disappears at the first snap of ice— leaving a stem choked into a depression in the dirt, invisible as the air under the bride’s veil being lifted and thrown back.

ERIKA SEAY is an MFA student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Her work has appeared in 32 Poems and elsewhere.