Luisa Giulianetti


Roses are trite. Stargazers cloy.
For you, hydrangeas.
An armful, clipped from the sea
below our apricot tree. The tree
you unburdened that Sunday morning.
A basket of fleshy orbs, some
freckled like your nose.

By evening, all sweet possibility
dashed: forgotten fruit, empty
half pints. Paring knife

Love, our hydrangea is thriving—
its petals drink sky.
Remember the spindly plant you
rescued from the clearance corner?
Ungloved, you unraveled its roots, nested
them in pine needles and oak leaves
to nurture bloom.

How I miss your hand cupping your chin
as you solve the Times crossword.

You’d be gobsmacked. I have become
a disciple for your green-thumbed cause.
I sprinkle morning coffee grounds
beneath the mophead’s glossy leaves. Keep
its soil moist, weed free. You were right:
its pale sepals turned periwinkle and cloud—
like your favorite tie-dyed sweatshirt.
The one you wore that Sunday morning
of puzzling and apricot picking.
The one I wear today your anniversary.

Your scent skims like an orphaned petal.