Tonight We Will Bloom for One Night Only by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Tonight We Will Bloom for One Night Only

Tonight you must plow me a respite between the moonflowers,
mock orange, night phlox, and Epiphyllum Oxypetalum.
You must open me to the summer night like cereus.

You must pick my perversions like petals, allow them for one night
to bloom, frangipani wafting, a concupiscent wind humming at my door.

I’ve surrendered to your heady sweat of primrose, plumeria,
addicted to your outstretched arms of night-blooming jasmine,
my heliotrope buds hard and wanting, reeking of Madagascar vanilla with its
accompanying moral ambiguity.

I am more than a day lily.

We are each bodies, hard-wired for pleasure, destined for momentary blooming,
then extinction.

When the bats swarm and the moths sidle up to this one night of fevered
pollination, let’s be ready.

Let’s face them, our appetency the headlights they slam into again and again.

We will make our escape at first light. Singing.

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

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Editor’s Note: Flowers as metaphor for pleasure… yes. And it is the single line in the middle of the poem where meaning pivots and gives the words energy. That line is why I kept reading —because that is where the meaning broke free of the image and became personal.

Untitled by Richard Rivera

For Aurelio

September had undone
our summer
and trans
what little there was left
of your scent
on my
A dog howls and
moans from
the park
while he’s
I can hear
and maybe
there’s another
but they sound the same
and they scream the
same and they
hurt the

by Richard Rivera

Editor’s Note: The best imagistic poetry cuts open the body and exposes the heart. This poem uses an extended metaphor to show loss in all of its brutal sorrow.