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.
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.
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.