Wednesday Vignette: Black-Eyed Susan



Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susans relax their petals like loosened hair,
burn holes in the earth as they drop,
burn golden oblong flames …
I can feel the heat miles away,
deep searing buttery hole in my mouth.
My tongue seeks the charred unnumbed space.

Susan, Susan, I call through the miles,
scatter my ashes in the Chesapeake Bay.
The earth can’t hold these flaming holes.
The Bay cannot hold me.

I slip oysters, love fish, onto my tongue,
but they slide too fast for flowers.
“Someone’s been hittin’ on you with a pretty stick,
miss Susan,” I say; her eyes dark with sorcery
bat, wink, close,
spin yellow petals with fearless magic.
I replace my eyes with hers.
Sweetheart’s got dark eyes and falling hair
and will forever lie scattered beyond the shore.

I should eat amorous oysters and laugh,
I should eat oysters and flowers after I die.
Vaya con Dios, my sweetheart,
the oysters slitheringly say, and Susan
just stares from my eyes, sears my soul,
leaves her holes too deep for feeding.



Wednesday Vignette is brought to us by Flutter & Hum.


  1. I love their cheery brightness in the fall, but I saw a whole bed of Susans the other day, and couldn’t help feeling like it was too early. Did they come earlier this year?

    1. I looked back in my photos and they have bloomed from the 24th of June through the 1st of October here, including in July and August. So I don’t think they have come early. And I expect to see them in August and Sept. too.

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