I AM A GHOST PETAL ROSE

I am unfurled wings.  

I make my own garden with ivy & oxide,  from skin & breath. What else can you build  from what you wanted & what you left behind? You never know when the sun  ripens the sky.  

No one studies smallnesses anymore,  but I have made room for these: ghost shade, spider strands & green eye for bee,  sand grains so small you ask if they should  even be known. How can I say that they  should? If you miss  

a minor sorrow, or a small glance, nothing is the same. My garden is a coral reef, grows at the speed of mountain blink, speaks in rain  alphabet. New growth stems come up like goat  horns through the earth, even in winter, raw. 

Dandelions lean  

like saplings slant into the wind. I cannot catch  them. I don’t need to. I watch them drift. I stand,  wings open, because we need wings, & unfurl is what a garden does, there isn’t 

more than that. 

THE BEES

My first hive grew in my backyard, a gift as a girl  from my uncle Scott who was an eccentric (he  

was an artist who lived in a house without  

a phone), but he saw me handling wild bees on the hibiscus  

outside our front door: they covered my hands, a calm  mitten swarm. The hive arrived the next day full of  European dark bees. One of the few gifts given 

to me expecting nothing. My uncle taught me that observation  

is better than listening, & the bees taught me that work  is play, & intention is a fertile field. My family didn’t  understand. When’s the special day? I hear you’re  marrying the whole hive! So witty. I ignore the comments now,  

but went through a period of what I thought were snappy  comebacks: Really? If you covered yourself with honey  the bees still wouldn’t pollinate with you. 

I settled my hives on a small easement, grapevines on one side  

& a horse farm on the other. My parents stopped asking  when I might get married, continued to hope for a while  I’d have children, then gave up. We are so  

disappointed you’re not giving us grandkids. I live in a house  

without anyone & no phone. But when I have thoughts that  circle & won’t settle, a restless hive, I carry myself  to the cradle of my own soul, & lie in the tall  

grasses that smolder gold in the fields, & the bees cover me in  

a blanket thrumming & gentle, & I know this is where I belong. How can bliss be failure?

Lynn Finger’s poetry has appeared in Ekphrastic Review, 8Poems, perhappened, Twin Pies, and Kissing Dynamite and is forthcoming in Book of Matches and Drunk Monkeys. Lynn is an editor at Harpy Hybrid Review and works with a group that mentors writers in prison. Follow Lynn on Twitter @sweetfirefly2.