Two jasmine intertwined


            They were my idea.  I bought them.  I placed the jasmine plants at either end of the mantel, where we could see them as we drank tea together.  They’re climbers, so they yearn for connection.  Each day, I gently trained them toward one another.  She could not always see progress.  In our three years, I’d come to know her impatience.  My jasmine plants grew slowly.  And though their tendrils sought touch, they did not share my desire that they touch each other, entwine, become one plant.  They did not flower, nor blossom, another slow process, the flowers opening only at night.  Though the jasmine sat apart, I could see them gradually leaning to the center.  At first I watered them too much.  I treated them too equally, when they were separate plants.  I tried to learn about them.  I played Mozart, but they flourish listening to Debussy.  I fertilized them with tea leaves from the bottom of my cup, the ones unable to predict the future. 
            Now, each day, I return home eagerly, to check their progress.  I understand how desire slows time.  I sit, wearing my patience like a shroud, waiting for that day when the plants will find each other.  I sit, well into the dark, as though I might bloom, thinking of her coming home to see the jasmine, the one bent to the other, tendrils the shape of a heart, touching at the center.  Finally come together.  Finally, I will tell her.  Finally.

"Jasmine" was first published in North American Review






Jasmine intertwined

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