phka malis (jasminum sambac)

the delicate fragrance
from a small palmful
of unassuming
bright-white
fingertip-sized
twilight blooms
scattered on the bedside dresser
reminds me of rural cambodia, but also
transports me to hot central los angeles

late summer nights
passing time with friends
beside small but flowering
evergreen bushes
planted in plastic westco buckets
on the walkway
of our second-story apartment
waiting for the temperature to drop

where i spent more evenings
in two years
conversing with neighbors
than i have
in the twenty since

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