Associate Director and Head of Operations, Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab, MIT
The leaves of the mimosa are closed to the night,
curled, introspective as a sleeping newborn’s fist.
The scent of the first young blossoms hints
of dewy sweetness in the cool wind.
That fragrance settled gently as the wings of moths
across the hillside behind my first apartment,
stayed with me through those summers
like words overheard from the house next door.
On the roof outside my windows I sat,
watched the entire city spread beyond the tangle
of the mimosa trees, believed I could love nothing
as much as the smell of their breezy seduction.
Tonight as I stand among these blossoms, the air
tinged with their floral dreaming, I watch the spread
of foliage fold up against the dark and know now
I will love the leaves more.
Appeared in the Spring 1995 issue of The Beacon Street Review.