Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2022  Vol. 21  No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Horticulture or Eternity
for Vladimir Nabokov & Dorianne Laux

We say we are done
with cults & throat swabs, but also ourselves
& the summer days that were never

so numbered as they led us
to believe. Some leaves are the shade
our flesh is on the inside, taking

on our temperature to tempt
a fly to fetid surfaces that force it
into service of self-

pollination. Other
leaves are said to possess
teeth, spines, lobes, fur. Forgive them for

they know not what. We’ve done
this dance before. This numinous
dance has done us in & all the in-

florescences in the Garden of What’s Needed
know it. Verily we suspect
no one is spared from becoming

numbed, becoming named,
however accidentally, after plants that prefer
secrecy to sunlight. We are, perhaps,

a touch like the famed corpse
flower these humid days—a little fishy, a lot

in our flesh
a fragrance that waits for us
to be sad and done.  

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