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Roots

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In a dying field
Built by dying hands
Weaving through weeds
Ripping up roots
The sound of limbs snapping
Bones breaking
Spinning in the air
Stars spinning in his head
Rising from the dirt
On his stem legs
Petals sprout from his waist

He blooms full in the open space
He looks brand new in the open space
It’s the biggest thing his small town
Eyes have ever seen
Bigger than the dreams of his father
Bigger than the fears of his mother

Born again to the field
He offers himself to the sun
Palms facing heaven
Trembling in the wind
His back his only protection
His aim their only hope
The blue of his eyes like the rain
To come

His ribcage blown apart
The faltering of his heart
Pierced by metal splinters
That get caught in the green folds of his skin

He wilts to the ground
Prayers leaking from his eyes
Like burning halos
His soft whispers growing
Feathered wings
Kissing the lips of angels
The way his mother would kiss
His forehead

Toes tying themselves into the
Reddening soil
From the tips of his fingers
Yellow pollen drifts into the
Humid air
Suffocating him with the sweet
Smell of spring

Like when he was a kid
And the bees hummed in his ear
He was so afraid that they would
Land on him
Mistaking him for a flower
But they never did

Discarded shells, still hot,
Are crushed beneath his knees
As he sinks into the mud
And drowns in their blood
It’s warm against his sunflower cheek
As his delicate face meets the earth
As the angry sky meets the night
And it all goes dark

All around him, men tip over
Their smooth leaves waving in the air
Fluttering to the ground
Veins turning red with blood
Bright petals drooping
Bright eyes going dark
Bright futures collapsing
Under the impact of war
And heavy rainfall

Rough hands push against his shoulders
A voice that says you are a man not a flower
Stop catching raindrops on your leaves
Hold a gun with a barrel that spits death
His ocean eyes search for God
A God bigger than his father





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