Ipomoeas; or, star singers

    I planted a small patch of flowers last night.
    They are called ipomoeas – which, as I
    sound the word off my tongue, sticks
    to the air like honey.

    Seasons ago – in younger dirt –
    my mother planted them too.
    She called them star singers.

    She told me, when my hair was
    still in tight braids, that
    at night the moon grew lonely
    in the empty charcoal air.

    So from the earth bloomed star singers,
    which erupt in darkness.
    As their lullaby floats

    through constellations, the moon
    drifts to sleep – taking the
    stars with it.

    Standing in dirtier air, under
    older constellations, I planted
    star gazers for us as a test;
    if they bloomed then it would

    sound to me or the stars or
    to the unkempt stems of bluegrass
    that you were real.

    I stood in the thick, billowing
    midnight air, waiting to see if –
    in blackness – they bloomed.


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