by    /  May 12, 2020  / Comments Off on Unrecognizable

On Pollinate (Garden Boy), a painting by Devan Shimoyama
by Lily Weatherford-Brown

Hear Garden Boy here.
Tears clatter in cacophony,
and funnel to a pool of blue zircon.

Buds shoot from his stomach.
A daisy stems in Garden Boy’s navel.
Palms pressed to brow socket,
eyes bleed through hands.

The loud puddle beneath him rises,
the sun catches the shine of his face.

A line of men march to Garden Boy.
Marble faces, fists, pump as organs do,
until his skin is bruised bismuth.

The glitter pool at his feet drained.
Men cork the jewels of his eyes,
and silence hits heavy as fog.
The air begs for crystal noise.

They clip back his blooms.
The daisy wilts at his navel.

Without the daisy to fill,
the bouncing sun burns his flesh.
They’ve left him unrecognizable.

Garden Boy is left with only dirt—
sweet and dark and fertile as honey—
and with what remains of his thumbs,
he plants another daisy in his chest.

Garden boy prays for sunlight and rain
and enough of himself to hold it.

Garden boy picks himself up again and
again in scoops and handfuls, loose silt
draining through his fingers. Pure light.

Lily Weatherford-Brown is a 17-year-old North Side resident of Pittsburgh. She enjoys her dog, coffee, and Natasha Trethewey’s anthology Monument.



City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression. This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

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