The Lilac x The Student: “Waiting Period”

Siri Palreddy ’24 weaves images of motherhood and plants in this edition of The Lilac x The Student.

   greased wings fly better on water but catch on buttery lips

I fatten up on oil words and false fullness

Corrode a little slower

Allow the enamel visions to seep in with their knuckle-hard truths

   the smarter children find my play to be a teething game

And I am the fool for thinking gnawing is a sweet suckle

There’s a subtle difference in the way me and my friends consider motherhood

Buds planted when we bled the last new moon burst into cavities

Bite this unwell fruit

Yield a nectar

   can you sense a subtle saline

That trickles down

      to your

         bleeding gums

Its stinging flow eased via the same pregnant tributaries whispered to methodically strike my bitter core

My mother’s mantra taught me early to search for gold and expect life

But I found it dwelling in unfamiliar little mouths molded for my hand’s suffocating caress

   milky air escapes through the  gaps  in my bone-bitten knuckles

yet my pock-marked arms still crave this crescent-like connection

   sleep nurses in the threaded flaps of my skin bent to shield newborn gazes

And I finally understand why latching on aches a little too late

Baby yellow thumbs seek outwards

   clutching the young hidden stem growing in my gullet

and there is

   nothing else I can offer the soil coating my soul but a promise to not

swallow this dissolving


As I patiently

wait for the waning