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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, February 22, 2018.
About this Poem 
“‘Virginia Street’ is a love poem to a then and a there, to a former self and a beloved other. It emerged out of a desire to generate a corrective, to resee the past through the lens of the present and to consider the large and small losses that lead to what we consider insight or perspective—the eye, here, figured as the gaze of a first-person self attending to her third-person past.”
—Jennifer Hayashida
 

Virginia Street

February on another coast is April
here. Astrology is months: 
you are February, or are you 
June, and who is 
December? Who is books 
read in spring, wingspan 
between midnight 
and mourning
 
Another starry tree, coastal 
counterpoint where magnolia is 
a brighter season
peach and pear
are grafted onto the same tree
fear and fat stick
to the same sprained bone
For this adolescent reprise
recycle everything trivial
but this time bring
the eye into sight:
make sight superior
to what is seen
 
A decade is to look at June 
and see April
to look at April 
and see February
Relief of repetition
seasons mean again,
one flowering branch suspended
in the half-light of spring
We sat on steps 
beneath a tree
No: I walked by
The tree bloomed
and I looked up 

Copyright © 2018 by Jennifer Hayashida. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 22, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Jennifer Hayashida. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 22, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Jennifer Hayashida

Jennifer Hayashida

Jennifer Hayashida is the author of A Machine Wrote This Song (Gramma Poetry, 2018).