Kimberly Kaufman

It was during these days of isolation
and the feel of white rooms clawing
in my chest that my plant began to
whisper. In a lilting yet raspy voice like

the crinkled newspapers under my
bed from pre-virus times it told me
to forget those other plants I’d left
in my office; they were surely already

dead. It said it was the only plant for
me and stuck its root growth into my
hand and expanded underneath my skin.
It called out for water and drank deep

with its lapping fronds. Now my plant’s
oval true-green leaves are all I look
forward to in these days that darken
together into one sleepless night

I crave only water and compost and
I dream of the sun. My plant gorges on
the light of all my past summers with
a cruel domination no mammal in hell

would curse on another. I can’t unstick
these small shoots from my arms as
I flatten and slow; my main thought
is that flower bud in my throat

that seeks to burst into a bright red
memory of what tomorrow once was


Kimberly Kaufman is passionate about music, horror movies, literature, and spending time in the forest; these topics often manifest in her writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Writer’s Resist, Metaphorosis, and Strange Horizons, among others. She hails from California.