If I made her once can I not make her again?

In the garden among flowers
the thick black ants make ecstatic highways
over and into the sweet honeypot of cow-tongue peonies,
the black-eyeds dip drunkenly into the foxgloves,
all around a complicated green.

Her tiny hands dig deep in the red Carolina earth and
pull up a slick white grub.
It folds into itself between her fingers.
Its gills gasping, whatever—blood? thumping through its

“Is it shy?”
Her hair like white fire around her head rising up.

One day it will unzip its Blue Hawaii Elvis suit
I say,

One day it will step into the world a June bug
I wish I could construct it bone by bone for her
The one day—

She slides the dying larvae onto my palm
She doesn’t know about the gills and why the grub curls.
The sun in the garden is hot.
The grub dead in my palm.
She turns towards the shadow beyond my seeing
Alights and is gone.


Photo by Alain Wong on Unsplash

L. Kamali‘i Ferguson

L. Kamali‘i Ferguson grew up on the island of Maui. She has a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently works as an independent consultant supporting the development of collaborative, consent-based governance systems for social change efforts nationally. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.