| Poetry, Visual Art

Flora Has an Ego

David O’Connell

The way bright tulips launch themselves from bulbs 
and nearly hyperventilate each spring. 

And how the fair-bound pumpkin swells like some past king   
announcing gross wealth with his waistline. 

Listen, for ages, the fossil record plays Fern’s staid hits. 
Then Deciduous—like Elvis—
                                  and nothing is ever the same. 

Enter the insects, pick-pocket fauna ignorant of flora’s intrigue. 
Bring on the orchard, the garden, each domestication 

another leg in a global migration that led to this Red Anjou  
beside this Northern Spy 

side-by-side on white linen in early morning 
—couture off the eons-long catwalk 
                                   that whets my human taste.

David O’Connell

’s poetry has appeared in New Ohio Review, The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Sugar House, and North American Review, among other journals. His chapbook, A Better Way to Fall, was awarded the Philbrick Poetry Award, and his first full-length collection, Our Best Defense, is forthcoming from Červená Barva Press in 2021. More of his work is available at davidoconnellpoet.com.

ART: Plastoxicity by Kim Rae Taylor

KIM RAE TAYLOR is a visual artist and educator. She currently serves as associate professor of fine art for the University of Cincinnati Clermont College. She received her MFA from the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati, and her BFA from The College of Fine Arts of the University of Texas at Austin. Additional studies include the University of Georgia in Cortona, Italy, and the Metáfora Center for Art Therapy Studies in Barcelona, Spain. She has been an artist in residence at Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, Red Gate in Beijing, and Cill Rialaig in County Kerry, Ireland. Taylor works with a variety of themes that draw from nature, language, and gender.

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