At A Summer Festival This Year

By | 1 February 2020

for Keyla Salvador, Stephen Romero & Trevor Irby

I.

There was a bee
& it landed clumsily over
a field of poppy & yellow seep monkey.

There’s a gold rush here,
it believed—

The rustle of golden yarrow & yellow stonecrop
local to Santa Clara County
only emboldened it
to dig through the pollen
& collect plenty its segmented hands can.

The waning afternoon sun meant
the canopies & tents
are about to be taken down soon
& garlands of garlic are to be kept
inside car boots & family vans.

Another summer festival
about to pass but we haven’t seen
the last of summer yet:
the bee still has pollen in its hands.

A field of poppy & yellow seep monkey
glinted gold in an afternoon sun.

II.

We smelled garlic,
it clung like pollen in our shirts,
& left our breaths sticking to chewing gum.

A child would think vampire hunters
came to this haunt—

But there were mostly chefs, perhaps a child
crying from being bitten by
a gnat or a bee
dazed, confused landing on
a clove of garlic, sizzling on a frying pan.

Man with a whisker wore a garlic hat,
garlic ice cream slipped
between his fingers while a broken
up clove smiled at visitors snapping
photos from phones that smelled.

Another ordinary family trip,
another day for the patches of
checkerbloom & honey suckle
to stand out amidst the yellow,

& for our car to stand out during traffic,
the smell of garlic rising up as heat.

III.

There was a girl
with golden yarrow & yellow
stonecrop laurel rustling on her hair.

She smelled garlic right before she
smelled the gunpowder—

Pacific winds caught a sneeze from the pollen
the bee dropped from its sac.
It got startled from
the spray of bullets flying
around canopies, cars, & garlands of garlic.

A boy that day imagined playing
the role of vampire hunter,
but his rifle fell on innocence,
not on vampires: a girl with a golden
yarrow & yellow stonecrop laurel

was one of them, her ice cream
melted amidst the afternoon heat.
Cars going home that day smelled
garlic, but one left an empty seat.

There was a bee & it gathered pollen right
before, it gathered the gunpowder.

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