Seven Sundays, Azure Arnot


The night I was born, my mother clawed up the tiles

in the kitchen floor and buried her deciduous heart 

beneath the mortar. 

Concrete-stained fingertips leave her more 

cement than girl: 

she weaves glass and steel

into the strands of her shadow-dark hair,

building a greenhouse in her chest

that weathers centuries.


My mother presses herself between the threadbare

covers of an encyclopedia on the coldest day

of the year. Her skin crumples under the weight

of unspoken words, turning veins into valleys,

staining the pages a faded marigold.


Yesterday, the foundation of our house split 

under the pressure of six thousand yellow flowers,

the sulfuric blossoms tearing drywall and hardwood into air. 

Her grainy sepia eyes wilted shut,

my mother waters the bouquet of dried tulips

on the splintered dining room table. She digs

her burlap hands into the brittle earth and inhales,

catching exhausted soil and cinder-block debris

underneath her fingernails.

Rest, she says. Bloom again when you’re ready.

About the Author

Gwen Cusing · Northeastern University

Gwen Cusing is a second year Biology, Spanish, and English student at Northeastern University. “Perennials” first appeared in Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine.

About the Artist

Azure Arnot · Suny Geneseo

Azure Arnot is a maker and doer. Much of her printmaking is about the unseen meanings and creating beautiful pieces that can be both appreciated for their beauty as well as theirs second meaning. You can find her online at or on Instagram at @azurearnot “Girl” first appeared in Gandy Dancer.

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