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
waiting for a hand to pinch them open &
gift them language.
The marionette master
of summer comes with
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
on vines and from curly stems.
She's evil with the snapdragons,
squeezing their necks
until their mouths pop open
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.