Emily Chase, Slow Growth (Bloom), 2016
Sewn and dyed paper, thread, soil, wire, antique box

We woke this morning to news that the last colony
has collapsed. I absently stir into my morning coffee

the nectar of a desert plant, hardy as the human tongue’s
hunger for sweetness. In the garden, we pollinate by hand,

brushing squash blossoms together, anther
to anther. When we were dating, the cologne

you wore was called Smokewood Apiary.
The first time we shed each other’s clothes,

I nuzzled into your neck. Our skin hummed.
You smelled like a hive on fire. The flowers

have begun to die, heavy with pollen, so we gather
withered baby’s breath instead, the empty seedpods

of a magnolia, dried lavender. We urn them on the table
between us. Before we eat, we praise their beauty.


Brandon Thurman