“Summers at Home” by Erica Cervantes

I don’t know why the tulip’s blossoms falter
By summer under the most caressing rays
Or how much intensity it would take

To break a single stem into a nutshell.
Sun scalds the kneeling gardener’s back
Like boiling water on toddler’s toes. I don’t know

Who planted the irony in sustainability.
Would the forest canopy morph
Into a seven-story greenhouse brimming

With counterfeit vines, cultivated in panels?
I don’t know what they derive
From photosynthesis. There must be more

Than simple sugars strung into carbohydrates.
There must be something driving
A botanical economy to produce

These tasseled chains. I don’t know where
To buy stock in seasons: rainy, acidic,
Temperate, dry. In each I am left, a bud

Wilting beside me as I tan.
We meld annually into a compost in the shade
Of crackled, ravaged limbs.

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