In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Flower Girl
  • Martha Silano (bio)


She had wanted to be onehad always been one

girl with the yellow chingirl who’d swooshed the buttercup

You must like butter you mustcrocus tulip forsythia

on the teacher’s desk inching outgoogolplex   subset

lily of the valley fistfulfor the hell of it for the smell of it

and dandelions too theirmonstrous taproots defying

the spade though mother insistedshe’d won that weedy war


Regarded from a distancewith relative disinterest

then the special microscopefor carpels and locules

for epigenous versus hypogenousShe didn’t think she would swim would

swim through the weekly quizzeswould she know for instance the tell-tale [End Page 135]

signs of ranunculus tricky as allcolumbine and larkspur

He her professor told them tobaccoa pink trumpet   cashew related

to poison ivy it was all so newit was all so not urban New Jersey

where she’d languished fifteen yearsnot knowing the phallic green finger

was a pulpit not seeing the springbeauty though always loved the up

between patio cracks portulaca pink and yellowlike the Easter Bunny hid them the night before


We’ll be on the ground shortly but she didn’twant to jettison us forward

past the mainland toward Hawaiiwhere monodelphous hibiscus

scarletly rules   that one fused stamencheesy with pollen that in a musty Iowa lab

she stuck beneath a dissecting scope the better tomaybe I should drop like a drupe from a prickly stem

maybe she couldn’t go this far past azaleawhere a rose was not a rose but a tiny white bloom

lacking scent   Climbed to the topof Mount Kinabalu scrambled up to see

the world’s largest   Rafflesia   ruddy with donut diskpronged like the suctioned feet of starfish [End Page 136]

wholly parasitic   wholly making a livingoff the vines of Tetrastigma

in the same way she had spread her haustoriuminto mock orange honeysuckle lilac [End Page 137]

Martha Silano

Martha Silano is the author of four books of poetry, including The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, chosen by Campbell McGrath as the winner of the 2010 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, and Reckless Lovely (Saturnalia, 2014). She is also coeditor, with Kelli Russell Agodon, of The Daily Poet: Day-to-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press, 2013). Martha serves as poetry editor of Crab Creek Review and teaches at Bellevue College.



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