The Bindweed Is All That Prevents My Ascension

Robin Gow

From now on I want to say “Summerland” instead of heaven.
To swelter. To swallow nectar. Hummingbirds come to my window
asking me how I am doing. I light incense.
Tell them I am making sculptures of god
to burry him in honeysuckle. The bush grows wild in the front lawn
of an abandoned house on Union Street.

I have been waking up with bind weed tying me to the bedframe.
I say again, aloud, so the ghosts can hear, “I am not trying
to die. Not yet.” Each flower is a telephone. Ringing.
Lines from all over the world. I always answer.
Today, a grandmother asks if I know what I’m getting myself into.
Then, a roof maker laughs, thinks he’s calling a lost lover.

Do we all need something physical to hold us down?
For my father, it was always the ragweed that grew
all along the sides of the house.
He rung their necks each week in the summer.
I am still learning where I am supposed to grow.
He fills his mouth with dirt. He tells me
he is ready. I know he is not ready.

Robin Gow is a trans poet and young adult author from rural Pennsylvania. They are the author of several poetry books, an essay collection, and a YA novel in verse, A Million Quiet Revolutions (FSG Books for Young Readers, 2022). Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, Southampton Review, Poet Lore, and Yemassee.

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