Either ones flow milk-pearls, nightshade
Dew and periwinkle
Luster overbrim gardenias, gardenias, farewell-to-Spring and Summer
Snapdragons — Farewell and hearts-ease and Quick-livings —
Quick evening primroses. They call them
Bedlam-and-Beldam flowers — monsterful
Sable-stalk towers — a goldenrod pale
Or fever root repairs, and lady’s mantles, marigolds’
Rust. They call that maiden’s girdles or moonflowers,
Moon, white morning glories,
Suncups and sundrops and night blooming wax —
Call it spun-gold wefts of sea coal
Oranges, browns, yellowed foam flowers.
Either call it thorn-apples
Or apricot bulges un-swallowed
Or call it crimson beebalms bleeding honeysuckle
Pink — Not touch-me-not
Or forget-me-not — Call it
Call it a humming, a hummingbird
Or trumpet vine and angel eyes or sea
Silk thick passion
Call it scape-grace and blown and blow.
Sasha Smith is a Jamaican-American Bronxite poet and lecturer who currently lives and works in Ithaca, NY. Sasha is a 2019 graduate of Cornell University’s MFA program. She holds degrees from New York University and CUNY. Her work is forthcoming in Action, Spectacle. Previous work has been published in Black Warrior Review, The Southampton Review and Poet’s Country. She was a recipient of the 2016 Poetry Project’s Emerge-Surface-Be Fellowship. Details about her work can be found at stesseract.com.