GEORGIA O’KEEFFE’S WHITE FLOWER
Six black zigzagging anthers radiate
out from the popcorn puff the pistil is,
like sparse hairs static-charged until they frizz.
Around them, petals dragged by their own weight
toward stone floor lose the will to levitate
and, like champagne without the heart to fizz,
allow their morphine-unstrung consciences
to drowse so that their bonnet brims create
seafoam-tinted shadows where they loom.
Within these smears of green, philosophies
asphyxiate; faith gasps for oxygen;
all abstract things ebb out of life again;
the sole survivors then are frequencies
of jadeite light and oil paint’s sour fume.
Jenna Le is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2017). She was selected by Marilyn Nelson as winner of Poetry By The Sea’s sonnet competition and by Julie Kane as winner of Poetry By The Sea’s sonnet crown competition the following year. Her poetry appears in AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, and West Branch.