Knockout Rose

There is nothing but this
moment of purple October
with its fertile dusks.

The thrips have paused
to watch the oaks wetten.
The larkspurs have come

into their roundness. Can you
feel the pines flirt with the light?
Would you brush a little onto my face?

I arch against your palm
until you cannot look away.
Somehow, this has become

our normal. A young girl
might do anything
for a hint of light on her face.

From Santa Tarantula (University of Notre Dame Press, 2024) by Jordan Pérez. Copyright © 2024 by Jordan Pérez. Used with the permission of the publisher.