Evening Primrose

J. Allyn Rosser

Spring 2018

The yellow evening primrose opens only at dusk,
and so rapidly that the blossoming occurs within seconds.


Nothing prim about her.
She’s all Watch Me,
Hot Stuff While-U-Wait.
But you have to meet her
on her shady turf’s terms,
a quarter past twilight.
Come alone.
Bring a crowd,
put the blame on Mame and
forget that bimbo Hibiscus,
those flutter-pulsed Stargazers
and high-falutin Grandifloras
(straight from jailbait to matron)
when you get there already
full-blown on some exclusive,
fussily private schedule.
You’ll never catch them at it,
see one petal start to pout.
You only see them with
their Doris Day faces on,
Deborah Kerr buttons done.
Whereas this insouciantly
Mae-Westious come-up-and-see-me,
be-seein’-ya Rita
will drop garter right here
and now, bust into all-out
pistil-poppin’, leer-fannin’
cancan, boom chaca boom
boom boom!

J. Allyn Rosser’s fourth collection, Mimi’s Trapeze, appeared in 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her work has been awarded the Morse Prize, the New Criterion Poetry Prize, and Poetry’s Bock and Wood prizes, and she has been the recipient of Lannan, Guggenheim, NEA, and Ohio Arts Council fellowships. She teaches at Ohio University, where she also edited the New Ohio Review for eight years.

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