Serena Alagappan

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the stone pine is local, but a blueberry
plant sprouts rampant: the wife takes
to it with shears; she doesn’t mind the bees.

her smash of avocado isn’t local,
but it’s heaping with feta
in a square city with prime dimensions.

she drinks jitterless CBD infused
cold brew, bred on campus, by two buddies
in a frat house.

before the tech bubble, she needed maps.
her dot didn’t move,
only guidebook pages in sweaty hands.

in this nuptial story, the camera
zooms in on the curtain, its shadow, two
empty bottles of flat, oaky vino,

then the woman, who identifies as
married, flinching, asking to be alone,
a single tear on a tightrope.


Serena Alagappan is a recent graduate of Princeton University where she studied poetry under Tracy K. Smith, and served as the Editor-in-chief of The Nassau Weekly. She is currently pursuing an MSt in World Literatures in English at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and working as Poetry Editor for the thirtieth annual Mays Anthology. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, The Colorado Review, Stand Magazine, West Trade Review, Bear Review, The Oxford Review of Books, The Cambridge Review of Books, and elsewhere.

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