The day the world lay still the girl
eats flowers at the Federal Horticultural Show:
dandelion like a pollen-dipped lemon,
tiger lily like a sugar-drop dream. Half
-mossed with shadow & butter-spread light, this meal
blossoms delicate utopias, an organic paradise
from city. Silent streets curved to footpaths, walls
more vine than border, every boundary blurred
to green. & the girl knows not to mourn what’s gone–
abandon means wildness, overgrowth, field.
A stalk can grow madly if you give a boy magic
beans, & to a hungry animal, a poison isn’t as it seems;
the girl is not a girl. At the show, the people gathered
dirt & water between their hands, planted
seeds. Then, all the spectators disappeared, left
only their clothes like scattered leaves in the street.
A boy no longer a boy now sets the table
like a Punnett Square: lavender dessert, narcissus
for seconds. When the polyps of flower swell
to pigment on each plate, they reach for a reed
& begin to dig canvas from the bright
James O’Leary (they/them) is a gender-fluid Pisces, dreamer, and dork from Scottsdale, Arizona. After spending some time up and down their home state, James has currently relocated to New York City, where they are pursuing an MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. James has most recently won The Poetry Society of New York’s Duplex Contest judged by Jericho Brown, as well as having been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for their work in Kissing Dynamite. James wants to share some coffee with you and talk about birds.