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San Diego Botanic Garden 

Chryss Yost 

Heavy succulents spilled over their beds
onto the decomposed granite. The roots
of the Torrey Pines knotted natural steps
           across the path.

                                     Holiday feast in my gut,
my body dull with the weight of our gratitude
measured in gravy and mushrooms and yam.

The garden spooled out flowers to spite 
the calendar—reds and pinks, figs and thick
sapote—it covered acres. There was nothing
that didn't seem beautifully itself. Even the blunt
greyed trunks of the barren citrus a monument
of purpose, sweetness.

                                       For a moment
it felt like we might allow the bitterness 
to rise and dissolve like coastal fog.

We could walk, for now, the same path. 

Chryss Yost is the author of Mouth & Fruit and two chapbooks. Her
poems have been widely published in journals including Prairie
Schooner, The Hudson Review,
and Night Heron Bark. She has coedited numerous anthologies, including California Poetry: From the
Gold Rush to the Present
(with Dana Gioia and Jack Hicks) and To
Give Life a Shape: Poems Inspired by the Santa Barbara Museum of
t (with David Starkey). She is the co-editor and book designer at
Gunpowder Press and served as Santa Barbara Poet Laureate.

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