Christopher Stein

I spend my nights planting flowers in no-man’s land
and my days ripping them out root-and-stem
I have dirt under my fingernails they look like black
scythes and they cut through earth and sometimes
when I am angry they cut through skin too it’s fine

that’s how I teach other people not to hold me too
tightly or hope for me too fervently it’s a waste

My mother loves hydrangeas and so those are
what I plant in the shattered ground between
warring factions it’s eerie how in the moonlight
the scarred ground where the shells have taken lives
looks like freshly tilled soil waiting to be
planted with new things and the fingers and toes

sent flying by concussive waves can be green tubers
waiting for a memory to grow inside