Half-Bloomed Peony by Chelsea Jennings


So many surfaces fit into summer’s
fist    An arrangement of force
holds each petal apart       Emptiness
fanning outward from the center
where self-contained rain gathers

The air vibrates with bees     Electric
silence that opens the sky wider
A puncture to let the present through
—One bud loosens its grip and peony
becomes a widespread condition


Chelsea Jennings is a writer and educator living in Seattle. Her first poetry collection, Transmission Loss (2018), received a Juniper Prize from the University of Massachusetts Press.