Back when the trellis stood vine-
enraptured and my pockets

sagged with pebble-heft, I
clipped clothespins to my bottom lip

and plinked them like piano keys
as the night sun split the sky.

Grapes hung like notes on a staff
begging to be plucked

and the smell of mint at sunset



I pocket minutes like these that
move slick as the in-between

The lake parts its lips,
warmed by the sun’s promise —

the still-winter air splits the part
in my hair and tousles bed-head me

while the bud unfurls on the bush
as if needing to be plucked too soon.

It uncurls against the gold of the moon,
sneaking across the lake unfrozen.



Sometimes songs are sung two
lines at a time. Each minute

a pearl emerging from your lips.
Sand made precious by your tongue.

Spring scrapes away blossoms of frost
and splits the seed, calling, “come.”

You pluck at my fingers as if
strumming a guitar

All the wound-up bits of me
uncurl in your music.



Nikki Donadio is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and holds degrees in English and Adult Education. She is an MA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire. Nikki lives in Newmarket, Ontario.



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