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the magnolia by noor

killed. neverending, this story

of that tree. bark rough. like a grandmother’s

apology, open hands, soft white

mouths of kittens, purring,

perfume. young and angry, yet

for a pet

who was buried by the roots

who fed

some loss

to its power

and sprawl. under our family. above us

it held off the sun

heat waved and it drank up

our water, we lost we

lived—like sweat in its grip. broken a

part by a chainsaw, the magnolia

fell, in pieces. away from the house

for the nerve thrown beneath

it would’ve killed the foundation. of our

littlecity. house built on wood. i was

sorry, so sorry

but not for that tree

but to lose

what i’d lost

before, beneath. in the dirt where something

something small, but you loved

it was breaking a part


NOOR is a poet trying to live in the world—currently in West Philly. she thinks the truth exists. she's a fellow of Callaloo and The Watering Hole. her work has been/will soon be published by Muzzle, DIAGRAM, ANMLY, and others. her chapbook, PRAISE TO LESSER GODS OF LOVE, was published by Glass Poetry Press in 2019.


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