Issue Three: Summer 2018

Return to Issue Three: Summer 2018



A hot day, and I on hands and knees

protecting tulips

and pansies from predators

needing a breather,

and next to my nose

a hippopotamus-shaped

black bee wallows

in a red tulip, stuck

like a jumbo jet

on the tarmac of petals,

an aerial pack mule

with legs like saddlebags

stuffed full of sepal milt

he cannot lift, stamen-stuck.

He required altitude,

lift capacity,

untethering from the helipad

of pollen-anther,

yielding his wealth for flight,

yet an hour later

when I checked back

he still writhed, clicking,

fumbling in his riches,

cup-rolling in the tulip,

golden powder

showering the air.

I would have nudged him out

with a tender index

but found myself

with a twinge of envy.

Let him luxuriate, for once.

Let him forget

the zigging and zagging

and data on the garden’s

grid for the hive.

Let him fill his follicles

fully, in folly.

I have, and tulips

die swiftly.


About the Author

Jeff Burt grew up in Wisconsin, was tempered in Texas and Nebraska, and found a home in California, though the landscapes of the Midwest still populate much of his writing. He has work in The Monarch Review, Clerestory, and won the 2017 Cold Mountain Review Poetry Prize.

Next in Issue Three: Summer 2018