heidi andrea restrepo rhodes :: “life cycle of ephemeral plants”

Every ephemeral species has a life cycle timed
to exploit a short period when resources are freely available.

So rare it is we all get what we need. Still,
in each other’s arms we briefly unfurl for spring. The rest of the year,

underground, we root & rhizome, survival strategy. 
Deciduous, we shed our clothes, our skin. Petals, leaves, fruit.

Teeth come in seasons. Delicate cotton of your shirt 
fluttering in drop, an abscission. 

As the mariposa lilies grieve so short the seasons that favor it,
here we are in the winter of the law. An unfavorable season, deluge of delusion,

a cold of heart against our mattering.  As wildflowers
lie dormant as seeds, our love sometimes waits for better weather.

All riot in the fields not without its calendars. Aster, azalea, & foxglove,
planning up ungovernable germination and splendor, an all-weather affair. 

Say gay say gay say gay say gay. A proliferation. Repudiation of absence
pushing against the threshold. An invasive species, excessive in our joy.

We return though, ready to live & die & live again. Negation of negation.
The evidence of us, an echo reverberating on the skin. A fugacious record

made of woven whispers & spectacular display. An invention of hours
kissing in the dark, in the mud, in the glittering & finite minute.


heidi andrea restrepo rhodes (they/them) is a queer, sick/disabled, brown/Colombian, poet, scholar, educator, and cultural worker. A 2023 recipient of the Creative Capital Award, they are author of The Inheritance of Haunting (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019). Their chapbook, Ephemeral, was the 2022 winner of the Lorca Latinx Poetry Prize and will be published by EcoTheo Collective in 2024. They want to swim with you in the raucous and joyful possibilities of crip poetics and abolition dreams. IG: @vessels.we.are.