kalanchoe pumila – o flower dust,
your soft grey body stretching and
stretching and curling and weaving.
o, you poor sundrenched thing.
you would push your way through
the window if it were possible, and i’d let you.
i’d watch your trailing arms curve through the grass,
put down roots in endless soil, grow as far as you can
reach. but come winter, you’d wither, if you made it past
fall. so i will let your body lean this way and that,
perpetually stuck in your sway, body growing taller,
an unmoving dance to music that settles your dust.
heartleaf philodendron – o heartleaf,
forgive me for thinking you pothos
at first. surely you know your own name.
the second my mistake was pointed out,
you shot up, nearly a dozen coiled leaves encased in—
what is it you encase your new growth in? all i see is film,
in time turned gold and dropped as a husk.
o philodendron, forgive me naming you frank.
forgive me calling you leggy. forgive me constantly
trying to teach you to vine. i am not unconvinced
you’ll never learn. at the least, you’ll get more sun
pinned to the length of the window than trailing the table’s top.
tradescantia zebrina – o zebrina, forgive me as well,
another mistaken identity. to be fair, in the harsh light
your purple wasn’t so vibrant as to stand apart.
your leaves covered in peachfuzz, i thought gave you away.
o inch plant, forgive me trying to give you away. i wanted
a teddy bear vine, and each of your pointed tips led towards
the wrong conclusion. i did not want the association
of your most common name, did not want to call you dude,
did not want you to die in my mother’s hands.
you may still die in mine, we’ll see. your longest vines
fell, now arranged a faux-bouquet in water,
the smallest of roots growing each day.
dracaena trifasciata – o snake plant, you know
i’m trying my best. we both know you’re only here
because you cost next to nothing, but i promise,
i’m doing my best to revive you. i’ll admit,
i’ve already failed once. let one stalk turn to mush
in my rush to water, then let it crisp in my days away.
o mother-in-law’s tongue, i’ll cut it off once i’m sure
you’ll survive. til then, i’ll let it be the closest to the sun,
keep the rest of your foliage from scorching. i’ll admit,
i’d like to hurry you along. like to cut your chopped stalk
at the base, see if i can get more of you to take. your endearing
v-cuts so you root right way up. how long will you take to settle in?
i’ll assume we’re both counting the hours of sun.
kalanchoe fedtschenkoi – o lavender scallops, do you know
how long i avoided you? your name brought to mind sliced starch
or the chewiest tasteless orbs. neither held much draw
in the form of a plant. but you are a smoother version
of my flower dust, and when the small body began putting out roots
in water, i wanted a pair to pot it with, and there you were
if not a twin, a close cousin, the red lining each of your edges
not far from the purple of their base. i can admit, the propagated pair
didn’t take, but you alone have pushed out aerial roots,
one already curling down your pot, the others standing straight,
pink-tipped, the newest; a pair of twins. o kalanchoe, o stonecrop,
none of your names fit you, but i’m glad to call you mine.
ceropegia woodii variegata – o string of hearts, my first love,
the introduction to my latest obsession. you came to me
in a pot the size of my thumb, found after four phone calls
and something like forty minutes pouring over the smallest
selection to pick the perfect plant. you with your pink flare,
your green splash, your vines curling like string.
the moss in your soil didn’t last, but the clovers have kept growing
for nearly a year now. from green to purple to pink to yellow
and then a new patch coming back again. o rosary vine, i promise,
in time, i’ll let you trail. but for now i’ll keep you piled on the windowsill,
untangle your tendrils every few days, let the light seep into
your waiting body. o sweetheart vine, how you’ve grown for me.
how wide your hearts have gotten.
how much growth you’ve yet to give.
BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; a writer creating delicate connections. they have called any number of places home; currently, a single yellow wall in Michigan. they have been published in Revolute Lit, After the Pause, and Roanoke Review, among others. they are the 2022 winner of the Bea Gonzalez Prize for Poetry. their portfolio can be found at twinbrights.carrd.co.