Kenneth Pobo


Plants can be pokey
about coming into blossom.
Each morning I run outside
to see if today a bud
will crack apart—
or slip to the ground,
hands of moonlight leading it
to death. On October 4,
the flower opens, perfect,
joy on a stem.

How quickly a vein of
brown seeps into
the bloom, widening
until death sneaks in,
takes over.

As it does to everyone.
I look at my skin
and wait.



My friend Minnie says, “Wandawoowoo,
you always have such pretty flowers.”
She looks at me like I’m sweet as a doily
on my grandmother’s coffee table.

I take her to the garden bed with
my fully open radiation biohazard
daylily, maroon, yellow, and green
ready to dart off the stem and bite

our panties. Flowers aren’t pretty.
Or sweet. They’re lions.

Stand before one, talk to it
like it’s a baby. Let it leap
at you. That’s this flower–
including the roar.