How did I come to imagine
building a city
of flower boxes?
— Major Jackson, “Maithuna”
Each housing the several
purposes I ascribe
to my regrets.
One bloom bell-shaped,
stiff as a curtain, shedding rain. The others,
just stems. How many
times must I reveal myself
too soon? Holding the shovel. A clutch of hair
dry in a pressed blossom
of blood on the iron petal tongue.
The shovel I lean against
as a cane.
A limp presumes innocence,
looking away for pity. They couldn’t
know I’m only tending gardens.
Tomorrow, my name will be mist on that distant mountain,
the ephemeral feather of ascent.
They will wonder if it is fire
if this hill were always a volcano
if a hot spring has been discovered as I pool
then shudder apart. An element-steam will rise
from my body that lets itself go
in pieces like the gulls
whose rice bodies are erect in flight
white stomachs becoming heads too quickly;
they push with one mind, divining one course,
as though tumbled from the hands of the bridesmaids
before flying on.
Jessie Kraemer is a writer/actress with a bachelors degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She writes children’s books with the organization DoDream and worked with Blackbird on their Spring 2016 issue.