ode to my plant

By: Elisabeth Blair

She is just a little one,
grand and handsy, bursting and shriveling
at once. She’s a plant and an animal,
filled with imperatives and second guesses
and so ons. She has a ten-times-ten proud
fury, and waits for no man. Elegant,
irreproachable, she stands on the balcony
above the river and jumps. Holds her
skirts up and glides into the water as if it is
what she was meant for. 300 million years
of evolution designed her. She gloats
and smacks your face as if to wake you,
but you don’t wake. She wouldn’t have it
any other way – she loves the world alone,
fingers trailing on the ground, sacks of
gift shop shit in her backpack. Art is hers—
the planet’s hers—she’s a witness to terrible
things, an accomplice to the rest. She hopes
nothing – every conceivable desirable thing
is in the maelstrom in her chest and in
her pause. She holds a crumbling piece of
what used to be her body, then lets it go,
watching it respond to the pitch and blow of
her planet ship. She pulls the mainsail down
and wraps it around her fins, and undulates
for the crowds, a sleep goddess. She is a
handful, I guess.

Elisabeth Blair is a poet based in Vermont. She has been artist-in-residence at ACRE, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her publications include a chapbook, We He She/It (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), a forthcoming chapbook, without saying (Ethel Press, 2020), and poems in a variety of journals, including Feminist Studies and cream city review. She is currently honored to lead the poetry workshop for the Burlington Writers Workshop in Vermont. www.elisabethblair.net