BY Brandon Getz
Dogwood pollen clumps with rainwater on the sidewalk,
and we leave a trail of yellow footprints. You reach
for a low branch, behead a single white
blossom, press the petals to my hand and say, Smell that?
Like sex in a rainstorm.
My grandmother grew dogwoods along her driveway.
In her trailer, nailed to wood paneling above ceramic icons
of the Virgin and pastel plastic Easter eggs, hung a plaque with a myth
about dogwoods, how they once grew like sequoias
along the Jordan River, cut and planed by Roman carpenters
into props for executions, until Crucifixion, when God
damned the trees & shrunk their limbs and bodies. And you
ask if the last thing Christ took to hell in olfactory memory
was dogwood blossoms, that pregnant scent in the woodgrain,
pale flowers shed up and down the hill, a final reminder
of everything human.
Brandon Getz serves coffee at a hipster Pittsburgh cafe after spending 5 months drinking wine and writing in Buenos Aires. He has his MFA from Eastern Washington University, and his fiction has been published in Versal.