• Emma W.

“Antirrhinum”

This poem was originally published on The Pittsburgher’s predecessor, The Dog Door Cultural.


I've heard that people call them bumblebees,

those small angels

who float their bodies

citrine and gold

into the snapdragons.

Caverns of pollen

whose velvet mouths hang ajar

and snarl their yellow tongues

and teeth

waiting for a hand to pinch them open &

gift them language.

The marionette master

of summer comes with

fingertips fragrant

with tomato leaf,

cheeks blushed with dirt,

the quiet knowledge of each flower's soap opera -

The Rose of Sharon's August of exhibitionism,

the Love-Lies-Bleeding’s unrequited love,

the love triangle between the hyacinths, wisteria and delphinium,

and of course the manic depressive hibiscus.

The angels are in danger,

The gardener is a woman with a thousand weapons -

Venom that comes in cans,

sprayed upon her daughters

who dance

on vines and from curly stems.

She's evil with the snapdragons,

squeezing their necks

until their mouths pop open

and speak

like Linda Blair in the Exorcist,

a flower possessed by someone else’s tongue.

By September, their heads will fall off

revealing hollow chutes

filled with microscopic black seeds,

an offering of restitution, revenge, continuance.

Next summer they will speak for themselves. ▲

Emma W. is from Toronto, Canada and is currently working on her first novel.