it is one thing to keep a garden

Untitled, Julia Sub

for Lola Tita

and another to water the three potted plants
on the shoe rack, stalk of baby bamboo
pricked by cactus and shaded by heartleaf,
all of it garden enough.

it is one thing to eat and another to feast,
my Lola always our savior,
erasing the thin of our wrists with
pizza on paper plates and purple
ice cream in coffee mugs it is

one thing to write an elegy

and another to see through a screen
the thin blanket outlining her body

and another to feel the stick of gloss
from the photos at my thumbs

and another to let the tears run freely
into the black mask I am wearing it is

one thing to touch the bursting crown
of orchids and lilies by her side

and another to carry a garden back home

About the Author

Jeremy Pulmano · Princeton University

Jeremy Pulmano is a Filipino-American poet and software engineer from New Jersey living in New York City. He graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and a certificate in creative writing. His first chapbook, Balikbayan, was published by The Hunger Press in 2022, and his poems have appeared in The Dillydoun Review, Periphery Journal, Lucky Jefferson, Arch & Arrow, and The Nassau Literary Review. In between the writing, he loves to dance, play guitar, and naps longer than he should. This piece was first published in Nassau Literary Review.

About the Artist

Julia Sub · Bennington College

Julia Sub studies social media and visual arts. Untitled came out of a study on how to demonstrate movement exploration on still film. The aesthetic was inspired partially by the physically active meditation that originated among Sufis. This spinning ritual was performed by Islamic Sufi poets in order to reach a level of perfection, releasing all personal desires and abandoning the ego. Her photograph first appeared in Silo, Bennington’s literary journal. This piece was first featured in plain china in 2018.

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