Dig down deep enough and you’ll find night blooms—

blue-dusked petals casting runes under forgotten


garden reaches, ink-black petals spooning clotted soil

into ever-shrouded stars, an ever-blackening sun


wheeling through dark spines and peat-stained teeth.

Lift dirt-caked, delicate slips.  Lift mold and root.


Their voices promise neither clarity nor opacity,

offer only a clearing aside of what’s given, what’s


taken away.  Their faces mirror each other and yet

are never themselves, never others buried further


down the road.  Dig them up and take them home.

Sit on moon-filled porch steps cradling ochre and


vermillion pooling on your skin, and they’ll bloom

the simple hierarchies of heaven—untouched


and unseen, tasteless and silent, back to the deepest

shadow under the loam, back to the first still breath.


John Robert Harvey

John Harvey’s poems have appeared in Cleaver Magazine, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Gulf Coast, The 2River Review, Weave Magazine, and others.  He received his doctorate in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston (UH) and taught in the UH English Department and Honors College. He lives near Stockholm, Sweden with his wife and son.

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